The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained that the release of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention was due to the Federal Government having compassion for the duo.
Dasuki spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.
According to a statement by the AGF spokesman Dr. Umar Gwandu on Friday, who quoted Mr Malami in an interview with the BBC Hausa and the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, the reason for the release of Dasuki and Sowore owes also to the commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders.
He stated that both men had multiple options after the court ruling, either to appeal or review the order.
“The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.
“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.
the right to appeal the said ruling, the right to ask the same court that issued an order to vary or review the terms of the order as well as the right to request for Stay of Execution of the order pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in that matter.”
Mr Malami denied the claim that his office received any formal communication from any American Senator on the matter, stating that it was not due to any domestic or international pressure on the Federal Government.
He maintained that FG has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.
“Even if we received any communication from them that will never be the basis on the part of the Federal Government to obey or disobey court orders emanating from Nigeria.
“The critical question that you may ask should be whether there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence or not. If there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence which deserved, as a matter of necessity, to be investigated through legal steps then there was no room for thinking of witch-hunting an individual, scoring acrimonies or personal vendetta against anyone.
The AGF stressed that Dasuki and Sowore can now enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases.
“The time has now come for Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore to also enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases. They were charged based on their individual cases, taken to court, granted bail and now have been released. All the individuals involved were treated fairly and justly; they were taken to court, enjoyed the court’s favourable discretion and they were all released,” he said.