Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of disobeying valid court orders in Nigeria but complying with orders from a United Kingdom court.
Nigeria, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), paid a $200m bond deposit following the approval by President Buhari.
The move follows a stay of execution for a $9.6bn judgment awarded against Nigeria in favour of Process & Industrial Development Limited.
In a letter to Malami on Sunday, Falana said the Nigerian Government did not give any precondition before obeying the court of its “former colonial master” as it does at home.
Falana asked the government to comply with court orders and release Omoyele Sowore.
He said, “It is however disturbing to note notwithstanding such deference to the courts of its former colonial master, the Nigerian Government has continued to disobey valid and subsisting orders of Nigerian courts and the court of justice of the Economic Court of West African States including orders for the release of political detainees and criminal suspects from unlawful custody.
“For instance, the State Security Service has continued to detain our clients, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, in defiance of the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which has admitted them to bail pending trial.
“In treating the court order with provocative contempt, the State Security Service has insisted on approving the sureties of our clients after they had been verified by the court. From the information at our disposal, there is no precedent whatsoever for the illegal demand.
“Instead of purging the security agency of such contempt of court, the prosecutor, Dr Hassan Liman (SAN), engaged by your good self to prosecute our clients, has curiously applied to the trial court to have them transferred to a correctional centre and detained indefinitely for having the temerity to question the illegal directive to produce their sureties.
“In view of the fact that the government has never given any precondition before complying with the orders of the British court in the case of P&ID and other matters, we are compelled to request you to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court for the unconditional release of our clients.”