The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been charged by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, not to be selective in obeying court orders.
The right group stated this while reacting to the directives of the Federal Government ordering the release of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and the convener of the RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore.
SERAP noted that the Buhari administration cannot continue to choose which court order it will obey.
“All court orders must be immediately and fully obeyed. It should never be right for the government to selectively obey court orders,” it said.
Recall that Naija News had reported that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, ordered the Department of State Services to release Col. Dasuki and Mr. Sowore from custody.
SERAP in a statement through its deputy director, olawole Oluwadare, said: “This is a positive step by the Nigerian government. We hope that this signals a change in direction in Nigeria towards full respect for the rule of law, tolerance and greater openness by the government that would allow citizens to effectively enjoy their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms.”
“SERAP has consistently called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore, Olawale Bakare and other prisoners of conscience.”
“The President Buhari government should now immediately withdraw all charges against Mr Sowore and Olaware Bakare and all others detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression. They should never have been charged in the first place.”
“The government cannot continue to pick and choose which court orders to obey. All court orders must be immediately and fully obeyed. It should never be right for the government to selectively obey court orders.”
“The government should have immediately obeyed court orders releasing Sowore, Dazuki and others on bail.”
“The President Buhari government must cease the restrictions on the civic space, respect human rights, and immediately obey all outstanding court orders including at least four judgments obtained by SERAP.”
“The first is the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering the government to tell Nigerians about the stolen asset it allegedly recovered, with details of the amounts involved.”
“The second judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris, ordered the government to publish details on the spending of stolen funds recovered by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, while the third judgment, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, ordered the immediate release of details of payments of billions of naira to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies since 1999.”
“The fourth judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris (as he then was), ordered President Buhari to prosecute senior lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481 billion from the 2016 budget.”
“The court also ordered President Buhari to “direct the publication of the report of investigations by security and anti-corruption bodies into the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.”