Igbo Lawyers Association (ILA) on Friday, said that the view of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to the judgement of the Court of Appeal quashing the charges against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, could amount to contempt of the court.
Malami, in a statement signed and released by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, had said that the court’s decision was on a single issue that bordered on rendition, adding that other issues were predating Kanu’s rendition, which remained “valid issues for judicial determination.”
The AGF said that the Federal Government would continue to pursue the determination of pre-rendition issues while considering all available options on the judgement on rendition. Reacting to Malami’s views, Barr. Victor Onweremmadu, the Coordinator of ILA and immediate past Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Aba branch, said that the Attorney- General is completely wrong to hold such a view. Onweremmadu, who is also a member of the General Council of the Bar, said that the AGF’s view is shocking to most lawyers. He said: “Some of us marvel sometimes about what Abubakar Malami usually says as an Attorney- General. “He is supposed to be the Chief Law Officer here but things he says sometimes marvels many of us.
“From the beginning, the Nigerian government had already flouted the law. There’s nothing to go back to as far as this case is concerned. “They’ve already messed things up for themselves. It’s all over. The Nigerian government has already committed a foul, crime,” he said. Onweremmadu stressed that it will be contemptuous for the AGF to neglect the judgement of the Appeal Court, adding that the judgement of the court is even above the president that appointed him as Attorney- General.
“How can you say you’re a law officer but you don’t want to operate by the law? Is Nigeria a banana republic? “This is a country that has a law and the law of the land has just been interpreted by a competent court. “Is the Federal Government the owner of Nigeria? Are they the law? The law of the land has said what is written in it and nobody has any right to go against that law. “Under which law will he hold Kanu when the Nigerian law has said they should release him?” Onweremmadu asked.
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