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AGF Malami justifies detention of Sowore, Dasuki in defiance of court orders



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The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said that the Federal Government did nothing wrong by not harkening to court orders for the release Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA) was kept in detention by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government despite different court orders for his release.

This same fate was meted out to Sowore, a journalist and the convener of RevolutionNow movement.

The two detainees were only recently released by the Federal Government.

However, speaking on Thursday on the action of the government which was heavily criticised both by Nigerians and the international community, Malami said the Federal Government has the right to detain Sowore and Dasuki not minding court orders.

He said until a matter got to the Supreme Court and the apex court ruled on it, that the government had the right to challenge the order of a lower court “by way of either an appeal against it; or asking that the order be reviewed or appealing and applying for a stay of execution.”

He said in the two cases in question that there were appeals for a stay of execution.

He stated this when he spoke during an NTA programme, insisting that the Federal Government did not err by not releasing Dasuki and Sowore since the apex court was yet to determine an appeal against the orders.

“If a decision is made, or a judgment is passed, you have an option: one, absolute and unconditional compliance; two, challenge the order by way of either an appeal against it; or asking that the order be reviewed or appealing and applying for a stay of execution.

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“So, in respect of those orders, we are not comfortable with as a government, we go back to the court and have them challenged. Until that matter, that your right of challenge is determined up to the Supreme Court level, the idea of you being charged with disobedience of court order does not arise.

“There were appeals for a stay of execution all through, so, until those matters reach the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court takes the final decision, relating there, you are still operating within the ambit and context of rule of law,” he said.

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