Contempt Charges Loom over AGF as Dasuki Release Divides Lawyers


Lawyers on Sunday reacted to the Federal Government’s position that former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki will not be released on bail as recently ordered by an Abuja Federal High Court.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) was quoted to have said that Dasuki’s right would be waived for public good, adding that he was responsible for the more than 100, 000 deaths.

Abeny Mohammed (SAN) said the AGF was speaking the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari, and described the statement as undemocratic.

Also, Constitutional lawyer Sebastine Hon said the statements credited to the AGF was contemptuous of the orders of court describing it as shocking and embarrassing.

“His own position or posturing cannot override the specific order of the court. That amounts flagrant disregard to the orders of court, which in itself is a recipe for anarchy,” he said.

Anti-corruption lawyer, Yusuf Ali (SAN) said the AGF’s statement has reduced Nigeria into a laughing stock among the international community. He said the points raised by the AGF on public interest and national security were canvassed in court but the court rejected them and still granted Dasuki bail and advised the government to obey the latest order.

On his part, the Second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Onyekachi Ubani said while the Federal Government has not concluded the trial of Dasuki, the AGF, Malami has already convicted and sentenced him without announcing how many years jail term, which the court would have announced if allowed to conduct the trial.

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“I don’t think the Attorney General, not even the president of the country, has the power to detain anybody that the court of the land has granted bail. I am sure that the Attorney General did not say that; he might have been misquoted, because that doesn’t happen anywhere,” he said.

 Also speaking, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) advised President Muhammadu Buhari to release Dasuki in the spirit of his recent commitment to respect the rule of law and sanctity of fundamental freedoms at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

“Having assured the international community of the commitment of the Federal Government to respect the rule of law and the sanctity of fundamental freedoms at the domestic and international levels President Buhari ought to order immediate release of Colonel Dasuki (rtd) on bail in strict compliance with the orders of the Federal High Court, Federal High Court of the Federal   Capital Territory and the ECOWAS Court without any further delay,” he said.

The court had refused the argument of the Federal Government that Dasuki should be detained under Section 45 of the constitution for public safety, explaining that the section does not nullify Section 35 of the Constitution, which guarantees the liberty of citizens.

Daily Trust


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