Da­suki: Malami opens de­fence at dis­ci­plinary panel Jan 22

The Punch - - NEWS - Ade Ade­s­o­moju, Abuja

THE At­tor­ney-gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Mr Abubakar Malami, will on Tues­day ap­pear at a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing of the Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers’ Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee on Jan­uary 22 in con­nec­tion with his last year’s com­ment be­lieved to have jus­ti­fied the four-year long de­ten­tion of the ex-na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser, Sambo Da­suki.

This is in spite of the re­lease of Da­suki on Tues­day by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

The PUNCH, on Wed­nes­day, learnt from lawyers that are con­ver­sant with the LPPC pro­ceed­ings against Malami, that the panel had ad­journed till Jan­uary 22 for the jus­tice min­is­ter to open his de­fence against the al­le­ga­tion lev­elled against him by the Da­suki fam­ily.

Our cor­re­spon­dent gath­ered that the Da­suki fam­ily had, as the pe­ti­tion­ers, pre­sented their two wit­nesses in their bid to prove their al­le­ga­tions against the min­is­ter on De­cem­ber 11.

The LPPC panel ad­journed till Jan­uary 22 for Malami to open his de­fence af­ter the min­is­ter’s le­gal team cross-ex­am­ined the two pe­ti­tion­ers’ wit­nesses at the last pro­ceed­ings.

The min­is­ter was not present at the De­cem­ber 11 pro­ceed­ings but was rep­re­sented by his le­gal team, who car­ried out the cros­sex­am­i­na­tion of the wit­nesses on his be­half.

The LPPC is the body that con­fers the highly cov­eted rank of Senior Ad­vo­cate of Nige­ria on de­serv­ing lawyers and re­serves the power to with­draw the rank from any lawyer on the grounds of eth­i­cal breaches.

The Da­suki fam­ily had pe­ti­tioned the LPPC last year re­quest­ing that Malami be stripped of his SAN rank over his last year’s me­dia com­ment sug­gest­ing that Da­suki, de­spite meet­ing the con­di­tions of bail granted him by var­i­ous courts where he is be­ing pros­e­cuted by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, would not be re­leased from the cus­tody of the De­part­ment of State Ser­vice on the grounds of na­tional se­cu­rity.

But Malami has de­nied the al­le­ga­tion, say­ing in his state­ment of de­fence that at no time did he “make or ut­ter such state­ment wrongly at­trib­uted to me”.

Da­suki, who was ar­rested by the DSS on De­cem­ber 29, 2015, was re­leased on Tues­day, hours af­ter Malami said in a state­ment that he had asked the DSS to re­lease the EX-NSA and the Sa­hara Re­porters pub­lisher, Mr Omoyele Sowore, from cus­tody, in com­pli­ance with re­peated or­ders of court grant­ing them bail.

Sowore was re­leased few hours be­fore Da­suki on Tues­day.

The ‘#Revo­lu­tion­now’ protests con­vener was re­ar­rested by the DSS at the Fed­eral High Court in Abuja on De­cem­ber 6, 2019, barely 24 hours af­ter he was re­leased from an ini­tial de­ten­tion that lasted over four months.

The in­va­sion of the court by DSS op­er­a­tives to re­ar­rest Sowore caus­ing the judge, Jus­tice Ijeoma Ojukwu, to aban­don pro­ceed­ings, sparked mas­sive pub­lic out­rage and gal­vanised do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional ad­vo­ca­cies against the cul­ture of dis­obe­di­ence to court or­der, dis­re­gard of hu­man rights and con­tempt for rule of law by the regime of the Pres­i­dent, Major Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (retd.).

The ad­vo­cacy cul­mi­nated in the re­lease of both Sowore and Daduki on Tues­day.

When asked if the Da­suki fam­ily would dis­con­tinue their case against Malami at the LPPC fol­low­ing the re­lease of the EX-NSA on Tues­day, Da­suki’s lead coun­sel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), told The PUNCH on Wed­nes­day, “I will con­tact the fam­ily and find out the stance they will take.”

“This is be­cause the pe­ti­tion was writ­ten by them,” Raji added.

•Kwara State Gov­er­nor Ab­dul­rah­man Ab­dul­razaq with a baby at an amuse­ment park dur­ing the Christmas cel­e­bra­tions in Ilorin, Kwara State …on Wed­nes­day. Photo: Tunde Oyekola

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