The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has absolved himself from the continuous detention of a former Nations Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd.
He also said he warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to detain the former NSA after six separate court orders that granted bail him bail.
Malami said all this while giving reasons the Federal High Court in Abuja should not strip him of the rank of SAN for encouraging the Federal Government to ignore releasing Dasuki who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since December 29, 2015.
An Abuja based constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi had filed a suit against the AGF, accusing him of engaging in unprofessional conduct.
He also said that he was instrumental to the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
Malami said this in a five-paragraph affidavit that was deposed by one of the senior lawyers in his chambers, Ballah Ali.
He said he also convinced the Federal Government to pay N135 million as compensation to families of deceased and injured victims of the invasion of an uncompleted building in Apo area of Abuja by DSS in 2013, sequel to the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Reports gathered, showed that the plaintiff had in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/807/2018, prayed the court to void Malami’s SAN rank, accusing him of engaging in unprofessional conduct.
In his defence however, Malami maintained that the allegation that he backed government’s action against Dasuki was “false, fabricated and falsified” to bring him to public ridicule.
Nevertheless, he said there was nothing before the court to show that Dasuki perfected all the conditions or terms of the bail that was granted to him on July 2, 2015.
He said: “On 2nd March 2018, the Supreme Court while delivering judgment in an appeal brought before it by Dasuki to challenge his continued detention and praying for suspension of his trial pending the time the bail orders were obeyed by government, held that the bails granted Mr. Dasuki in respect of criminal charges brought against him by EFCC have been obeyed having being implemented by the Controller of Prisons, Kuje on December 29, 2015 before he was rearrested by the Department of State Services, DSS.
“The Supreme Court equally held that the EFCC, though the prosecuting agency, cannot be held responsible for the detention of Dasuki by DSS.
“The Defendant neither arrested nor detained Col. Dasuki, Rtd, and he is also not in custody of the Defendant. The Defendant also did not autborize the DSS not to release Col. Dasuki, Rtd, or any other person for that matter. The Defendant does not also control or supervise the DG, DSS or the DSS itself.
“That Col. Dasuki, Rtd being the allegedly aggrieved person, did not authorize the Plaintiff to make any representation on his behalf in the instant case.
“That Col. Dasuki, Rtd, being the allegedly aggrieved person, did not take any step to enforce the court orders in question.
“That the Defendant in due compliance with the oaths of his office as Attorney General of the Federation and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has spearheaded efforts by the Nigerian Government to comply with court orders and/or judgments, including but not limited to:
“In all prosecutions instituted as part of the anti-corruption drive of the current administration, all the accused persons have been released upon their admittance to bail.
“Upon the granting of bail to the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, by this honourable court, he was released from prison custody in April 2017.
“In April 2018, the sum of N135million was paid as compensation, upon the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission, to the families of deceased and injured victims of the invasion of an uncompleted building in Apo area of Abuja by DSS in 2013.
“In September 2018 the Federal Government in compliance with the judgment of the National Industrial Court, reinstated Mr. Yushau Shuaib, a Chief Information Officer who was retired in 2013.
“The Plaintiff has not obtained any court order/judgment against the Defendant which is not yet obeyed.
“That the Defendant has not misconducted himself in his official capacity as Attorney General of the Federation or in his personal capacity as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in any proceeding before this honourable court to warrant a report being made to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.
“That the Defendant did not at any time defend the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to obey six different court orders directing the release of Col. Sambo Dasuki, Rtd.
“The Defendant did not at any time render legal advice to the President or the Federal Government or any of its agencies in contravention of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, or any other law in force.
“That is is in the interest of justice to refuse this application”, Malami added.
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