Abubakar-Malami-SAN

Dasuki’s Detention: Malami to Face Legal Disciplinary Panel Jan. 22

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.

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.

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 cross-examination 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, Dictator Muhammadu Buhari .

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),  on Wednesday said, “I will contact the family and find out the stance they will take.”

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

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