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Friday 28 October 2022

Disobedience To Court Order: A Bad Precedence That Might Amount To General Disregard To Nigerian Laws

  Disobedience To Court Order: A Bad Precedence That Might Amount To General Disregard To Nigerian Laws

The continued refusal of the Attorney-General of the federation, Abubakar Malami to comply with the  ruling of the Appeal Court on October 13, 2022, might lead to the public neglect of government laws.

The Abuja Appeal Court discharged and acquitted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, but those at the helm of governance have refused to adhere to the Court's ruling. This is a bad choice, and one that is in total disobedience to even the Nigerian constitution, which the Nigeria leaders should be defending. It will immersely contribute to scoring Nigerian government very low, serve to renew calls for end to executive rascality, and prove this Buhari's administration incapable of upholding enacted laws and judicial rulings.

On 13th and 26th of October, 2022, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) won Nigerian government in the Abuja Court of Appeal and in the Abia Federal High Court, respectively. The Abuja Appeal Court case was the result of the appeal by his defense team over the refusal of a lower court to quash all the frivolous charges Nigerian government brought against Kanu for simply demanding self determination; something extant local and international laws support. The Abia Federal High Court judgement was also in respect to other numbers of requests made my Kanu's counsels, mostly majored at getting the court to condemn the abuses on Kanu's rights, by the Nigeria government.

So, the Abuja Appeal Court in a rebuke for how Nigerian government committed international crime by bringing Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria without due process struck out all the criminal cases against the IPOB leader, and also discharged and acquitted him for an unconditional release. The Abia Federal High Court in like manner, granted seven prayers brought before her the the Kanu's counsels, ordered that Kanu be returned back to the location(Kenya) he was arrested.

Unfortunately, The judgements of the Courts have not been obeyed by the federal government. Rather, they were defied and rejected by the Attorney-General of the federation, Abubakar Malami who deliberately misinterpreted the court Judgement in his characteristic and historic nature of abuse of court processes, claiming that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was only discharged, not acquitted.  

To clarify the judgement of the Appeal Court, the Lead Counsel to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, on Monday, October 17, 2022, served the Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi, with the certified true copy of the judgement, which discharged Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Yet, the government is playing tone deaf, continuing to refuse compliance, being lawless and insulting the judiciary.

The continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in the DSS dungeon amounts to continued abuse of his human rights disreagrd to court order and United Nations directives that demanded he should be freed unconditionally. And will lead to a highly brutal response, and encourage lawlessness everywhere. Because government can not disobey the law and expect anyone to respect or obey its laws.

It is quite shameful for government to disobey her own judiciary in the name of "We Do As We Like And Nothing Will Happen.” What an image before the  international community? A disgraceful image. An investor unfriendly image. No serious investor will invest in a country with a rogue executive arm. It is an image that is an embarrassment to those that bear the passport. This administration is an embarrassment and a disgrace.

It is either the Attorney-General is an appointee of the president, who helps in dealing with the judiciary or he is the law himself. In a functioning constitutional democracy, how can a country’s Attorney-General argue in a total contempt of a subsisting order of a properly constituted court, contradicting the court’s judgement of discharged and acquitted as only discharged not acquitted, even after being served with the original certified and true copy? As a law abiding citizen and someone who should lead by example, if truly Malami earned his grades in law school, is respect to an order of a court not paramount? Abubakar Malami is a disgrace; should resign and be put behind bars for abuse of court processes. One wonders whether his proclivity for clannish agenda is forever sustainable and without repercussions.

The Attorney-General  should, as a matter of urgency, comply with the order of a competent court of jurisdiction without much ado and in order to avert a constitutional conflict with multiple consequences. He should advice government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu forthwith or seek for legal teachers that will interpret the  Court of Appeal's ruling on Nnamdi Kanu’s case or wait for serious all round disobedience of law. What goes around, comes around!

Written by Onyebuchi Eucharia O

Edited by Chibueze Daniel

For Family Writers Press International

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