Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Thursday said that the decision of the government to keep former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, under house arrest, despite two court orders asking that he be permitted to travel abroad for medical treatment, is not a disobedience of the court.
Dasuki is facing money laundering and illegal possession of firearms charges but operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) have been barricades his house even though he has been granted leave to travel abroad. Malami says there is a justification for that because the ex-NSA failed to submit himself to investigation on further allegations apart from the charges pending against him before the Federal High Court.
The AGF, who fielded questions from journalists and members of staff of the ministry and agencies under the ministry, said the action of the government with respect to Dasuki’s case was in the public interest. Malami is expected to appear before the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola on November 23 to clarify the federal government’s position on the issues relating to the order granted the ex-NSA.
He said that there “shall be no flouting of court orders in the new administration.” He said: “In some of these cases, some of these high profile culprits may be involved in multiple cases that might require investigation. If you are granted bail in respect of one issue, and the need arises for further investigation in other criminal offences, the law of the land requires investigation and you are bound as a good citizen of the country to submit yourself to investigation.
“The interest of the nation reigns supreme above an individual’s interest. So when the national interest is at stake and it has to be investigated, individual interest naturally gives way.
“It is not enough to conclude that the order was flouted. You have to look at the peculiarities of the prevailing cases on the ground. You can be granted bail with respect to one case and there can be other cases that public policy demands investigation.
“It is only natural to allow investigations to be concluded having regard to the public interest that reigns supreme over and above individual interest.
“The point for consideration is whether the public interest is there as against the individual interest. But as it is, this government is going to uphold due compliance to the rule of law and sustain public interest and sustenance of its tenets.”