A group, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Wednesday expressed regret over the recent appointment of the Attorney General (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national circle by President Goodluck Jonathan, stating that the appointment would demean and politicise the AGF’s office.
The group’s reaction came on the heels of a recent media report that Adoke was picked by the president to join the newly-expanded national caucus of the PDP as part of the reforms introduced by the national hierarchy of the party to enhance President Jonathan’s control of the party’s structures preparatory to the 2015 presidential election.
Others, who were named as members of the caucus include the governors of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio; Alhaji Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Chief Theodore Orji of Abia State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam of Benue State and Malam Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State.
A statement issued jointly by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, stated that the group had resolved to send a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the office of the AGF and the National Chairman of the PDP to seek clarification on the membership status of Adoke, who was reportedly appointed based on his professional merit as a lawyer.
The group also noted that it had nothing against Adoke but for the fact that his inclusion as the occupant of the office of the AGF and Minister of Justice had reduced the constitutional importance of the office as the nation’s chief law officer and also endanger the professional and non-partisan nature of the office.
“We strongly feel that the appointment of the AGF into the national caucus of the PDP is a dangerous precedence, a grave oversight and a huge constitutional error which ought to be reversed without further waste of time if we ever hope to retain the consitutional and legal reputation of the high office of the AGF as the chief law officer of the nation, who is expected to attend to all legal needs of all Nigerians irrespective of their specific ethnic, religious, political or cultural affiliations.