- Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, faults claims by Abubakar Malami, the minister of justice, that Omoyele Sowore, and Sambo Dasuki, were released on compassionate grounds
- The human rights lawyer says Malami should apologise to Sowore and Dasuki for detaining both men after they had been granted bail
- Falana explains that the refusal to release a defendant who has been admitted to bail by a trial judge is tantamount to contempt of court
Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer has dismissed the claims by Abubakar Malami, the minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, that Omoyele Sowore, and Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, were released on compassionate grounds.
The lawyer insisted that Abubakar Malami lacks powers to order the release of any detainee out of mercy, The Cable reports.
Falana, who made the statement when reacting to Malami’s claims, said in a letter that the minister should have apologised to Sowore and Dasuki rather than making such claim because it is against the law to detain any person that has been granted bail.
“It is trite law that once a trial court has granted bail to any person standing trial for any offence whatsoever and the bail conditions have been met the detaining authority shall release the person from custody without any further ado,” he said.
“In other words, the refusal to release a defendant who has been admitted to bail by a trial judge is tantamount to contempt of court. Hence, before Sowore’s release, we had filed Forms 48 and 49 for the committal of the Director-General of the State Security Service to prison for contempt of court.”
The human rights activist said a suspect could not be detained beyond 48 hours based on a remand order from a magistrate court, adding that that the government is not permitted to refuse to comply with the order of bail under the pretext of defending the security of the nation.
Falana said the federal government has itself to blame for the needless controversy that has trailed the release of the Sowore and Dasuki.
He also said based on the tenets of the rule of law the attorney-general ought to have apologised to both Sowore and Dasuki for detaining them in violation of court orders.
Meanwhile, Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has commended Nigerians over the release of human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, as well as former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
Ortom, in a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, December 25 by his media aide, Terver Akase, stated that the dogged clamour of Nigerians led to their release.
The governor equally commended President Muhammadu Buhari for directing the release of the duo in accordance with the rule of law.
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