Presidential Chat: Activists Berates Buhari For Justifying Disobedience Of Court Orders

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Reactions are still pouring in over some of the comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari during his recent presidential chat.

A couple of Nigerian activists and lawyers that spoke to Premium Times condemned the president for saying his government will continue to detain two prominent detainees – former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – Nnamdi Kanu, despite several court orders that they should be released from detention.

Mr Dasuki is facing corruption charges over alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for the procurement of arms while Mr. Kanu was charged for treasonable felony.

On Dasuki’s trial, Buhari had said: “If you see the atrocities these people committed against this country, we can’t allow them to jump bail. What of the over two million people displaced, most of them orphans whose fathers have been killed? We cannot allow that.”

On Kanu’s case Buhari said: “And the one you are calling Kanu, do you know he has two passports – one Nigerian, one British – and he came into this country without any passport? Do you know he came into this country with sophisticated equipment and was broadcasting for Radio Biafra?”

A human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, described the comment as a “national embarrassment”, adding that Buhari proved by his open defiance of the judiciary that he remained a dictator at heart.

He said: “We appreciate the President because he has spoken from his heart and gave us the correct impression of who he is.

“Under Section 287 of the 1999 constitution, all persons exercising judicial, executive or legislative power must have respect for the order of the court. It is not proper for the president to choose which order to respect or to obey. Given that the president assumed office through the rule of law, it is totally uncharitable to be humiliating the judiciary openly in a presidential chat.

 “The reason why this is very difficult is that once we resort to self-rule, once we resort to a situation where the leadership is breathing down lawlessness, then anarchy will come because if a president will not obey a court order, a business man will not obey it, policemen will not obey it.

“It would be promoting anarchy. I am sure in some quarters the SSS people are rejoicing. Overzealous security officials and rejoicing, and perhaps using the President’s comment as reason to put people in custody and breed impunity.”

On his part, Chairman of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), Lanre Suraju said the President’s comment was “unfortunate”, adding that his utterance was capable of undermining security agencies in their jobs.

He said: “The utterance of the president yesterday (Wednesday) only shows that there is a government agenda specifically and deliberately skewed to perpetually keep the guy in detention. And that is most unfortunate. That is also not only pitching the judiciary against the executive, it is also showing that there would be a measure of arbitrariness on the part of the executive.

“The case of Nnamdi Kanu is also unfortunate. It is an extra-judicial action. Basically, if he is being charged for treason, there is also certain condition that needs to be met before bail can be granted. If the lawyers of the government have failed to establish the magnitude of his offence, and the court in its own wisdom has granted that bail, the SSS has no basis and no reason under the rule of law to perpetually keep him in detention.”

Nigerians on micro-blogging site, Twitter, have also been commenting on the issue. While some are in support of the president, others are not. Read below:

A few days ago, the embattled former NSA, who had been earlier released on bail by the DSS,

Dasuki’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, confirmed that the ex-NSA had met all the bail conditions given by the judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Peter Affen.

The lawyer regretted that the court order was not obeyed by the DSS and described the actions of the security agents as an affront to the rule of law.

Meanwhile, the accusation was made by the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB).

The post Presidential Chat: Activists Berates Buhari For Justifying Disobedience Of Court Orders appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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