Justice Minister Replies Falana: Stop Concocting Constitutional Provisions for Media Publicity
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, warned Nigerians to be ‘wary of the antics of persons bent on confusing the general public through mischief.”
Dr. Umar Gwandu, Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami aide in a statement on Monday also said: ‘the General Public should be rest assured that the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is committed to preserving the unity of the nation in accordance with the Rule of Law and respect for the Constitution.”
The statement reads: “The initial reaction of the Office of the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation was to ignore the letter, as it is replete with misinformation and evinces lack of proper understanding of the law and issues implicated.
“The Office of Attorney General of the Federation has, however, decided to respond thereto in order to clarify the issues involved in the overall interest of the Public.
“First, it is beyond doubt that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any Prosecuting Authority has been vested with Constitutional right of appeal in Criminal Prosecutions.
“These rights extend to Rulings on Bail and right to seek to vary terms of Bail, among others. Thus, in any circumstance where this right is waived by the Prosecution, it can only be for valid reasons, including compassion, after all connected issues have been duly considered.
“It is further appalling to note that in a bid to garner media-hype in condemnation of a valid governmental action taken in good faith and in the interest of the general public, Mr. Falana, SAN, resorted to quoting non-existing Sections of the Constitution by stating that: “Mr. Malami SAN should have apologized to Col. Dasuki (Rtd.) and Mr. Sowore in accordance with Section 32(6) of the 1999 Constitution…”.
“It is unfortunate that a Senior member of the Bar could resort to concoctions and fabrications of non-existing provisions just to score cheap media publicity.
“Another attempt to confuse the facts and misinform the general public was Mr. Falana’s reliance on Sections 175 of the Constitution on Prerogative of Mercy.
“It is important to highlight that the statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, which Mr. Falana was allegedly responding to, did not howsoever state that the duo of Dasuki and Sowore were released further to the Constitutional provisions of Prerogative of Mercy.
“A lawyer of Mr. Falana’s status should thus desist from stretching arguments beyond reasonable limits in order to score cheap political points.
“It is a common knowledge that Prerogative of Mercy and compassion simpliciter are two different concepts.
“In the premise of the foregoing, the General Public should be rest assured that the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is committed to preserving the unity of the nation in accordance with the Rule of Law and respect for the Constitution.
“Citizens should thus be wary of the antics of persons bent on confusing the general public through mischief.”