Spirited Dispatch from Sambo Dasuki’s Family
The role of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in FG’s refusal to release the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, despite numerous court bails, speaks volumes about the mentality and professionalism of our chief law officer. The decision of the family of the oppressed ex-NSA to petition the Nigerian Bar Association about Malami’s conduct in the Dasuki saga is thus apropos. This burdened family is asking the NBA to investigate and sanction the minister for his alleged unethical conducts and utter disregards for the rule of law. I fully concur.
The family in the petition accused Malami of conduct likely to cause anarchy in the country through his defence and promotion of disobedience of lawful orders of court by the federal government. The Dasuki family wrote in the petition dated July 23, 2008: “Malami has been making reckless and unprofessional statements to denigrate the court, violate the constitution and encourage the continued breach of the fundamental human rights of Sambo Dasuki who has been clamped into detention since December 2015.”
The family also wants the Minister to be investigated in the resolve of the federal government not to comply with any order of court admitting the former NSA to bail. The family insisted that Dasuki had been unjustly detained without a lawful order for almost three years. In the petition signed by his wife, Bintu Dasuki; his son, Abubakar Dasuki and his nephew, Umar Dahiru, the family also added that Sambo Dasuki, in his lifetime, had never been convicted of any crime till date. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, and Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, got copies of the petition.
Honestly, Malami has persistently made very unprofessional remarks in support of the illegal detention of Sambo Dasuki. He was quoted as saying that Dasuki’s personal right should be violated for the larger public good and that the ex-NSA was responsible for more than 100,000 deaths during his tenure. Malami said: If the issue about an individual coincides with that which affects the people of a country…you are now saying the government did not obey a court order that infringes on a single person’s rights. Remember, we are talking about a person who was instrumental to the deaths of over 100,000 people. Are you saying that the rights of one person are more important than that of 100,000 who lost their lives?
“Reports have shown that there was a massive mismanagement of funds meant for military hardware, which the military could not access and that led to the death of many, and because of that, many people have lost their lives. Obeying the court is not the issue per say. Are we going to take the issue of an individual more important than that of the people? The government’s main responsibility is for and about the people. The essence of governance is to better the lives of its people. So you have to weigh it based on that; the rights of an individual or the rights of the people.”
The offence for which this former NSA was arraigned is bailable under the Nigerian law. Our chief law officer must not be seen promoting impunity and disobeying court orders. He must not be seen assaulting the Rule of Law. Unfortunately, these are the things Malami has been doing regarding the case of Sambo Dasuki. On December 29, 2015, when Dasuki’s bail conditions were perfected, and the warrant of release signed by the court, the operatives of SSS stormed Kuje Prison, immediately rearrested the ex-NSA and clamped him in their detention camp. It was so depressing, yet, Malami, our chief law officer defends this lawlessness.
The family also approached the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and in a landmark judgement, the detention of Dasuki was declared unlawful, null and void. The court subsequently ordered his immediate release in addition to imposing a fine of N15 million on the federal government as compensation for the breach of Dasuki’s fundamental rights. The federal government refused to obey this order of the international court, yet, we have a chief law officer defending this anarchy.
Again, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 2018, admitted Dasuki to bail upon a discovery that his detention was a breach of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that of the fundamental right of the ex-NSA. Upon meeting the bail condition, the warrant of release of Dasuki on bail was signed by the court and served on the Director General of SSS and the Attorney General of the Federation for their compliance, but they arrogantly ignored it. In fact, Malami confidently declared that the order of the court would not be obeyed by the federal government. Is this a chief law officer?
The Dasuki family wondered: “Should a lawyer, let alone, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), engage in such an unprofessional conduct capable of causing anarchy in the nation? Malami’s statement is prejudiced, unwarranted and unbecoming of a legal practitioner.”
I sincerely hope that the NBA will invoke its laws on professional misdemeanor against Malami and impose deserved disciplinary sanctions against him for promoting impunity in this country. The NBA must speak out against impunity and lawlessness by our chief law officer and take actions that will compel the federal government to obey the orders of our courts.
Unending Tears of Osun State Retirees
Hundreds of traumatised Osun State Government retirees spent most of last week on the streets of Osogbo, protesting non-payment of their gratuities and pensions (running into years) by the Aregbesola administration. Scenes of retirees with walking stick, begging for their rights were pathetic. Never in the history of this state has senior citizens been this humiliated. Hundreds have died waiting for their pensions and gratuities. Those still living have become walking corpse. The degradation of retirees in Osun State pours. No wonder one of the retirees, a 78-year-old school teacher, Mr. Joseph Olaoye, slumped during the protest.
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A retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, led the protesters. Recall that she had written a petition against Aregbesola in 2015, detailed the failure of the government in many areas, including non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. She was eventually recommended for a compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council in dubious circumstances.
Oloyede remarked during the protests: “Do not be weary in the demand for your rights. You all will be alive to collect your entitlements. The primary duties of any responsible government are welfare of the citizens and their security. Any government that fails in the two areas has failed woefully in the discharge of its primary duties. Labourers deserve their wages and it is covetousness to spend what belongs to other people. It is a crime to spend pensions and gratuities of the people and deny them their rights. We are not beggars, we worked for the entitlements and the government saved this money for us while we were serving the state. Is there any pensioner that is not being owed in this state? Some are being paid half pensions and others are being owed.
“The whole essence of government is for the welfare and security of the people. Anybody who is satisfied with hardship can choose to ensure the government continues, but those who are not satisfied should vote for who they like with their PVCs.”
The Secretary of the Forum of 2011/2012 Retirees, Mr Sola Olojede, added: “The state government paid N100,000 gratuities to some workers out of about N5 million each of them was entitled to. The governor owes us 17 months pension. This is half pension of 34 months. You all know that they have been paying us half of our pensions since September 2015. So it will be wicked of any of them to say we are not being owed.”
It was good seeing Osun State retirees brandishing their voter card during the protests. I believe they know what to do in few weeks’ time. They have to vote out the oppressive regime of Rauf Aregbesola and his cohorts.
The Mess Called NNPC
Who will put an end to the anguish the behemoth called the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been inflicting on this country? An end seems not to be in sight. A corporation set up to enhance the forex revenue of this country has simply been milking it. Malfeasance pours at NNPC. The most recent financial report is depressing. Between March 2017 and March 2018 (13 months), the firm incurred a loss of over N240 billion as under-recovered expenditures while importing petrol at the international market price and selling at the federal government’s regulated pump price of N145 per litre.
Under-recovery is a dubious term being used by this government to describe subsidy which arises as a result of the difference between the landing cost of refined products and the official prices.
The latest report also indicated that NNPC spent over N129 billion on pipeline repair and management within 13 months. The corporation also reported that Nigerians consumed a scandalous 80.26 million litres per day of petrol in March, 2018. Our daily consumption of petrol has gone up from the contentious 65 million litres per day to a monstrous 80.26 million litres per day. This import is more than enough for the entire West Africa sub-region. This is why the corporation can no longer meet its obligations to the federation Account. What a country!
Father Kukah on Wastage of Human Lives
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, is never afraid about saying the truth no matter whose ox is gored. With more of people like him, this country will be in a good state. Speaking recently during a visit to bandit-ravaged Gandi town in Sokoto State, he decried how lives are been aimlessly and mindlessly wasted in Nigeria, saying: “Nigeria is heading towards agricultural disaster because the killers are gradually, but systemically, preventing locals from going to the farm and rearing livestock.”
The blazing Bishop challenged the federal government to work out a more formidable measure capable of halting the unending killings across the country. “The gale of unwarranted killings going on in Nigeria is a ploy to set the nation against itself… We will only continue to call on the federal government to do more and protect us. Our people are dying aimlessly and mindlessly. This is another farming season, but now, people cannot go back to their farms. There is evidence of another looming agricultural disaster.”
Regrettably, we don’t have a proactive government in place in our dear country. This is why the killings have persisted. I believe majority of Nigerians know what to do in 2019.
Next Read: NECAS/CBN Distribute Farm Inputs to 27,000 Farmers in North East