The Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Monday Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), was being mischievous with his comments on the recent release of the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore and ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Malami in a statement issued by his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, accused Falana of concocting constitutional provisions for “mischief.”
Malami said his attention was drawn to a letter purportedly written by Falana and titled: “Re: Why FG Released Dasuki, Sowore – Malami.”
The said letter was in response to a statement the AGF issued on December 24, where he explained reasons, why the federal government released Sowore from his over four months’ stay in the DSS detention.
The minister had claimed that Sowore and Dasuki were released on compassionate grounds and not because of pressure from any quarter.
Falana, who is Sowore’s lawyer, countered in a statement and faulted the AGF for claiming that he used his office to extend mercy to the two former DSS detainees.
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But Malami has fought back, stating in his statement that “the initial reaction of the Office of the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation was to ignore the letter, as it is replete with misinformation and evinces lack of proper understanding of the law and issues implicated.
“The Office of Attorney General of the Federation has, however, decided to respond thereto in order to clarify the issues involved in the overall interest of the public.
“First, it is beyond doubt that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any Prosecuting Authority has been vested with Constitutional right of appeal in criminal prosecutions.
“These rights extend to rulings on bail and right to seek to vary terms of bail, among others. Thus, in any circumstance where this right is waived by the prosecution, it can only be for valid reasons, including compassion, after all connected issues have been duly considered.
“It is further appalling to note that in a bid to garner media-hype in condemnation of a valid governmental action taken in good faith and in the interest of the general public, Mr. Falana resorted to quoting non-existing Sections of the Constitution by stating that: ‘Mr. Malami (SAN) should have apologized to Col. Dasuki (retd) and Mr. Sowore in accordance with Section 32(6) of 1999 Constitution.
“It is unfortunate that a senior member of the Bar could resort to concoctions and fabrications of non-existing provisions just to score cheap media publicity.”
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