Fifty-two year old Abubakar Malami, a politician, lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, could best be described as the Minister of Injustice instead of being the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A Minister of Justice is supposed to protect and defend the constitution and ensure that justice, and not injustice, is served.
However, since Mr. Malami assumed office on November 11, 2015, after his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator turned democrat who finds it hard to adapt to civilian life, he has turned himself into the protector of the President and the perpetrator of injustice.
It took the intervention of the United States for Malami to do his job and release politician, activist, journalist and publisher Omoyele Sowore, on December 24, 2019, even after courts granted him several bails and he met the bail conditions.
Sowore was arrested in August for planning protests around the country to demand justice, equality, true democracy and development in Africa’s most populous nation, a country rich in oil and mineral resources, but also with widespread poverty and shocking underdevelopment where most people are stuck in squalor and hopelessness.
Sowore and others have argued that gargantuan corruption, theft and total inefficiency were responsible for Nigeria’s backwardness.
Instead of allowing him and his comrades to stage a non violent social revolution, the government arrested him and charged him with treason, money laundering and other sudden crimes.
Former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki was also freed in December following pressure from the Trump administration after four years in detention, even after courts granted him several bails.
The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky remains in detention, more than four years since he was arrested in December 2015, after Nigerian soldiers opened fire on his followers, accusing them of blocking a road meant to be used by the Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai.
Amnesty International said hundreds of innocent civilians were massacred and many buried in shallow graves.
On the fifth year since that massacre occured, Mr. Malami has looked the other way. No official has been tried for murder. Instead, El-Zakzaky and his wife are languishing in prison. Several of their followers have been tried or killed since then.
The Nigerian Minister of Injustice has also looked the other way as activists and social media influencers were being arrested and slammed with trumped up charges.
There are too many names to begin to list, and it will take many articles to exhaust the list of those under prosecution or in detention.
Nigeria under Buhari, a former military dictator who could not provide his high school certificate to run for the presidency, and then sacked the head of the Supreme Court just weeks to elections when it became apparent he might lose the elections on appeal, is under widespread fear.
In 2018, during a visit to the White House in Washington D.C., President Donald Trump urged Mr. Buhari to defend the rights of Christians in Nigeria. However, Mr. Buhari, a devout Muslim, who repeatedly defended Boko Haram and Fulani herders, has looked the other way.
With little intellectual exposure and people outside his mosque and region, Mr. Buhari has betrayed Christians and other tribes in Nigeria.
Mr. Malami has backed all the atrocities Mr. Buhari has perpetrated, including ordering the massacre of Igbos in southeastern Nigeria when they also were demanding justice in a country that treats them like second class citizens, even though they are highly educated.
As a result, Malami may go down in history as the Minister of Injustice rather than the Minister of Justice, or the protector and defender of the law.