The retired Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN) Friday revealed that conscious policy and leadership disposition of the current Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) led saved the Federal Government over N400 billion judgment debt liability sanction.
Apata who stated this during the send forth on retirement and handing over ceremony organized in his honour noted further that successful defence of government during the years from 2017 till date was tremendous and had saved the country needless legal costs and damages.
Apata, a technocrat and legal icon, is bowing out of service on the attainment of the compulsory retirement age of 60 years.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed Umar Etsu has been named as his successor in an acting capacity.
Earlier, various sporting events such as scrabble, Table-Tennis, Ayo and Handball among others were organized in his honour with participants coasting home with medals and plaques gifts.
While eulogizing the minister further, he said, “I make bold to say that successful defence of government during the years from 2017 till date has also led to avoidance of judgment debt liability by the federal government of over N400 billion in costs and damages.
“It is worthy of note for me to refer to the tremendous feats already achieved by the Federal Government through the concerted efforts of the FGN team in the ongoing efforts to overturn the US$10billion arbitral award against Nigeria in favour of Process & Industrial Developments LTD (P&ID).
“Today, the UK Commercial Court has granted Nigeria State an unprecedented leave to set aside the arbitral award as well as relief from sanctions,”
Speaking further, Apata thanked the minister for giving him free hand in the discharge of his duties.
“I became the first SGF and Perm-Sec of the Ministry of Justice to be conferred with the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), with the cooperation and support of the AGF.
“Malami is not only God-sent but also a detribalized Nigerian who has projected me to the world in the course of delegating me to attend a high profile event in his stead, and I remain eternally grateful to him for the confidence he reposed in me,” he said.
At the Olusegun Obasanjo Auditorium, the venue of the event in Abuja, AGF Malami equally described the SGF as an epitome of commitment and professionalism.
According to the minister, the retiring Perm-Sec deserves national honour given his meritorious services to the nation.
“Let me commend the SGF’s consistency in the implementation of policies and programmes of the ministry.
“I can say with pride that by his contributions, Apata has distinguished himself as a patriotic bureaucrat who has also attained a prestigious peak and the ministry of Justice has not only been lifted to higher grounds in the process, it has become the envy of others.
The minister noted that having served in various capacities where he distinguished himself in the discharge of his duties, Apata according to him is resourceful, unique and has added value to public service in the discharge of his duties.
The Justice ministry in the word of Malami will miss Apata’s experience, contributions and knowledge on vital aspects of the law.
While reeling out Apata’s citation at the event, a Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Tanzania, Lady Justice Stella Isibhakhomen Anukam referred to his delivery in fierce legal cases with a high display of integrity and reputable characters.
While it lasted, the outgone SGF/Perm Sec in her statement left an indelible mark as chairman of various committees like Justice Sector reforms, Review of Judiciary workers salary, Financial Autonomy for the Judiciary among others.
She noted that he was also instrumental to the creation of the Department of International Cooperation and Development, Administration of Criminal Justice and Reforms and the Department of Civil Appeals.
The hallmark of the event was the naming of the modern E-Library of the ministry in honour of the SGF.No tags for this post.