US embassy cable - 02ABUJA729

NIGERIA: NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL SWORN IN

Identifier: 02ABUJA729
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA729 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-03-06 17:45:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV CJAN KCRM SNAR NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 000729 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPT FOR AF AND INL 
NSC FOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, CJAN, KCRM, SNAR, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL SWORN IN 
 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- Protect Accordingly. 
 
 
1.(U) On the morning of March 6 President Obasanjo swore in 
Kanu Godwin Agabi as Nigeria's new Attorney General and 
Minister of Justice.  He takes over the Ministry of Justice 
after the December 24 assassination of Chief Bola Ige. 
 
 
2.(U) Agabi was AG from June 1999 till June 2000, when he was 
transferred to the Solid Minerals Ministry, a job he held 
until now.   Like the late Bola Ige, Agabi is a Senior 
Advocate of Nigerian (SAN).  Unlike Ige, Agabi is a member of 
the President's political party, the PDP, and he is a devout 
Roman Catholic, frequently leading prayers during the weekly 
Executive Council meetings.  He was born and has spent most 
of his career in or representing the south-south state of 
Cross River.  He has served as a federal Senator, a state 
(Cross River) Commissioner of Finance, and was appointed as a 
prosecutor on the Failed Banks and Financial Malpractices 
Tribunal during the Abacha years. 
 
 
3.(SBU) Comment:  The appointment of Agabi was rumored in the 
press and among the chatterati of Abuja but only within the 
last week.  He does not seem to have left a strong impact 
during his last stint as AG, leading us to believe Obasanjo 
put a priority on stability and loyalty over distinguishing 
records in making this selection.  Nevertheless, Agabi's past 
experience should allow him to become comfortable with the 
reins of the Justice Ministry in short order.  This is good 
news for us, as we expect to engage him quickly on our 
outstanding requests for cooperation on a variety of law 
enforcement and judicial issues. 
Jeter 

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