Alex Enumah in Abuja
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has described as false the allegation that he supported the continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, by the federal government.
Dasuki, who is standing trial on allegations of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms both at the Federal High Court and the FCT High Court in Abuja, was admitted to bail and was released after perfecting conditions attached to the bail but he’s still held in custody by the federal government.
Also, the federal government refused to obey the order of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which had ordered it to recognise Dasuki’s bail.
However, following allegations that he (Malami) had in an interview he granted to an online media outfit, insisted that Dasuki, would not be allowed to enjoy any form of freedom, in view of the gravity of offence levied against him, an Abuja based constitutional lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi, consequently dragged Malami to court seeking the removal of his Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) rank.
The plaintiff had in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/807/2018, predicated his prayers on the grounds that Malami by that singular act have conducted himself in an unprofessional manner.
Specifically, the plaintiff is praying the court to determine, “Whether upon a combined reading and complete understanding of Sections 1(1), 150 (1) and 287(3) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria read alongside Rule 1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, the Defendant is not bound to exercise the powers of his office and discharge his functions there under only in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.”
“Whether upon a community reading and complete understanding of Sections 1(1), 150 (1) and 287(3) of the amended 1999 Constitution read alongside Rule 1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, the Defendant has not violated his oath of office as Senior Advocate of Nigeria and failed in his duty as a Legal Practitioner, more so the Chief Law Officer of the Federation by defending the refusal of the federal government of Nigeria to obey six valid Court Orders directing it to release a former National Security Adviser (Col. Dasuki) having been admitted to bail and met all the conditions attached to the said bails.
As well as “Whether upon a community reading and complete understanding of Sections 1(1), 150 (1) and 287(3) of the amended 1999 Constitution read alongside Rule 1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, the Defendant has not desecrated the Nigerian Constitution, his oath of office both as the Attorney-General of the Federation and as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in not only failing to support the Constitution but to assault same by his defence of the refusal of the federal government of Nigeria to release a former National Security Adviser (Rtd. Colonel Dasuki) despite valid court orders admitting him to bail?”
However, Malami in his response to the legal action denied conducting himself in an unprofessional manner, adding that at no time did he advised the president or the federal government to continue to keep the defendant in custody against the orders of court granting his release on bail.
Malami, in a five paragragh affidavit that was deposed to by his lawyer, Ballah Ali, he told the court how he persuaded the government to release the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on bail, adding that he cannot go against the laws of the land or an order of court and would not encourage anyone to do so.
He said he also convinced the 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 the Department of State Service (DSS) in 2013, sequel to the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
Consequently, he urged the court to dismiss the suit that was lodged against him by the plaintiff.
In supporting his case, he averred that “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 SAN in any proceeding before this honourable court to warrant a report being made to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.
“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.