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Stop disobedience to court orders- Femi Falana writes Osinbajo



Human rights lawyer , Mr Femi Falana ( SAN ) , has written an open letter to the Acting President , Prof Yemi Osinbajo ( SAN ) , asking him to stop the flagrant disobedience to court orders which has characterised the current administration .In a letter titled , ‘ Request to end disobedience of court orders by all authorities and persons ’ , Falana said the Attorney – General of the Federation , Mr Abubakar Malami ( SAN ) , continues to promote the disobedience to court orders with impunity .

The activist said he was appalled by Malami ’ s refusal to release a former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki ( retd . ); the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria , Sheikh Ibraheem El -Zakzakky , and several others despite court orders .

Falana said , “ It is common knowledge that the AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami ( SAN ) , has said that Col Sambo Dasuki ( retd . ); Sheik Ibraheem El – Zakzaky ; and his wife , Hajia Zenab Elzakzaky , would not be released from custody in defiance of the valid and subsisting orders of municipal and regional courts .

“ While the attention of the print and electronic media has been focused on the three privileged citizens , it is hardly realised that there are many other common people who are languishing in custody due to official disobedience of the orders of courts which have set them free .

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“ And since judgment creditors are prohibited from levying execution on the funds belonging to the government without the fiat of the AGF , the Federal Government and the various state governments usually refuse to authorise the payment of damages running to several billions of naira awarded by courts in favour of many citizens and institutions . ”

The senior advocate said the decision of the current administration to disobey court orders was reminiscent of the dark military era where persons deemed enemies of the state were detained for months or years without regard for human right.

The activist noted that he was similarly detained by the Buhari military junta in 1985 for defending Afro – beat legend , Fela Anikulapo – Kuti .

Falana added that notwithstanding the treatment meted out to him , he was among those who demanded Buhari’ s release when the latter was also detained for three years by Gen . Ibrahim Babangida .

He added , “ But notwithstanding the illegality of my detention and the fact that it was Gen. Buhari that had promulgated the decree, I was able to convince my colleagues in the human rights community to demand his release and that of his deputy , the late General Tunde Idiagbon from detention .

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“ It is on record that based on our intervention , the Ibrahim Babangida junta released the duo after three years of detention without trial . ”

He said now that Nigeria ’ s President is the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States , the current administration must lead by example by committing fully to the tenets of democracy .

Falana added , “ We urge Your Excellency to take urgent and decisive measures to put an end to the disobedience to court orders by many public officers and institutions . Since section 287 of the constitution has imposed a binding obligation on all authorities and persons in Nigeria to comply with the decisions of competent courts , public officers who subvert the rule of law ought to be sanctioned .

“ Furthermore , in view of the fact that President Buhari is the current chairman of ECOWAS , the Federal Government should show leadership by example by complying with all the judgments of the regional courts without any further delay . ”