The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has insisted that release of ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore was done out of compassion.
Naija News recalls that the Department of State Service (DSS) had last Tuesday finally released Sowore and Dasuki from detention.
The Federal Government ordered the release of Sowore and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
Abubakar Malami had said the decision to release them was necessitated by compliance with the bail granted the duo by the court.
He further stated that the release of the duo was not due to pressure but was done out of compassion.
But in an open letter on Sunday, Femi Falana said it was unconstitutional for a detaining authority to continue to hold on to a suspect who had been granted bail by the court.
“We were flabbergasted when you turned round to inform us that you had no power to direct the State Security Service to comply with the order of the Federal High Court for the release Sowore from custody,” he said.
“But having belatedly deemed it fit to review your position and advise the Federal Government in line with the tenets of the rule of law you ought to have apologised to both Sowore and Dasuki.
“That is what is expected of you in accordance with Section 32 (6) of the 1999 Constitution. It is not an occasion for grandstanding or an arrogant display of power.”
Reacting in a statement by his spokesperson, Dr Umar Gwandu, Malami berated Femi Falana for asking him to apologise.
He said, “First, it is beyond doubt that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any prosecuting authority has been vested with the 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.”
AGF Malami also accused the Senior Advocate of Nigeria of attempting to misinform Nigerians.
He said, “It is important to highlight that the statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, which Mr Falana was allegedly responding to, did not howsoever state that the duo of Dasuki and Sowore were released further to the constitutional provisions on Prerogative of Mercy.
“A lawyer of Mr Falana’s status should thus desist from stretching arguments beyond reasonable limits in order to score cheap political points. It is a common knowledge that Prerogative of Mercy and compassion simpliciter are two different concepts.”