The National President of the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Malachy Ugwummadu, yesterday described the release of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and activist, Omoyele Sowore, from detention by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as coming too late.
Ugwummadu said that nothing precluded the federal government and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), from directing their release immediately the courts made the orders.
He said in a press release that “the orders sought to be obeyed now have been issued several months and weeks ago depending on the case. This is a damage control effort that has very little impact because of the profound damage that has been occasioned by the indiscretion of this government and the presently established tradition of disobedience of court orders.
“Just too bad and shameful that several governments, governance institutions and persons across the globe had to express their resentments, disapprovals and disappointments at the inexplicable refusal of the federal government to respect the orders of courts.
“The AGF cannot, at this stage of the mess, excuse himself from the absurdity and disgrace brought about by this ugly and avoidable development.”
He stated that the AGF “by Section 150 of the 1999 Constitution, is the chief law officer of the federation with a responsibility to advise the government on appropriate legal decisions and actions to take including respect for rule of law and court orders.
“Indeed, Section 287(1-3) of the 1999 Constitution imposes a peremptory obligation on every individual, governments and agencies of government to obey and enforce the judgments, orders and directives of Superior Courts of records including the Supreme Court subsection (1); Court of Appeal subsection (2) and Federal and States’ High Court subsection (3).”
Ugwummadu pointed out that President Buhari administration’s penchant for disobedience to court orders could not be atoned by “the tokenism of ordering their release.
“We want to see the disciplinary measures, including the trials of all the heads of agencies that flouted the court orders as a clear demonstration that the federal government wasn’t a party or privy to these despicable actions.
“Secondly, and as a preliminary steps, those head implicated should be relieved of their positions and thirdly, the federal government, the Department of State Services (DSS) and even Ministery of Justice must issue a public apology to the victims and pay adequate compensation to them pursuant to S.35(6) of the 1999 Constitution.
“Finally, every other political prisoner including Agba Jalingo and Abiri illegally held in captivity must be released and compensated forthwith.”