A Human Rights Lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, has revealed that the Nigerian Bar Association would likely embark on a boycott of the courts if the Federal Government fails to honour the latest court order granting former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, bail.
Mr Ajulo, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the continued flouting of court orders by the federal government in respect of bails for Mr Dasuki was a danger to democracy and the Rule of Law.
He said: “The Federal Government should not be allowed to decide which orders it will obey because by so doing, it dangers the authority of the judiciary as an arm of government and offers little hope to citizens that their fundamental human rights can be guaranteed.”
According to him, despite assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari not to encroach on the functions of the other two arms of government in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015, the president has not kept faith with the promise as his administration has continued to decide which court orders it should obey or not.
“Three years down the line, this solemn vow seems to have been kept in the breach as the Presidency is intent on having its way on court rulings it feels are not according to its liking.
“Adherence to court rulings and the Rule of Law in general is not about feelings rather courage and obedience to one of the fulcrums of democracy and the sanctity of the courts as a sanctuary to all citizens.
“It is in this regard that I hope the Federal Government will obey the latest court order by Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on bail for former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
“I must emphatically point out that the failure of the Federal Government to allow Col. Dasuki enjoy bail which has been granted to him severally (six now in total) is a danger to our nascent democracy and those of us who are ministers in the temple of justice ought to cry out before we are buried in the sands of impunity.
“Take note that if Dasuki who is part of the few power elite could be treated with such impunity, then there is no such guarantee that other Nigerians/clients who are granted reprieve by the courts to the dissatisfaction of the government will be allowed their liberty as granted by the courts.
“Therefore, if the Federal Government fails to honour the bail order by Justice Ojukwu within Seven (7) Days of fulfilment of the bail Condition as stipulated by the court, I appeal to the Nigeria Bar Association to boycott the courts and urge the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to resign his position.” the lawyer said.
He stressed that even if the NBA fails to act in this direction, he will boycott the courts and galvanise like minds to press home his demand to show that Nigeria is not a ‘Banana Republic’.
Mr Ajulo further stated that “the efficacy of court rulings is in their applications by all parties irrespective of how they feel about such orders.
He said: “The Federal Government cannot be allowed to cherry pick which judgment to obey. It is an irony that it finds it expedient to obey an order of court on the NFF, but not on Dasuki?”
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that on Monday, a federal high court sitting in Abuja presided by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted bail to Dasuki, bringing to six of such bail orders all of which the federal government has refused to honour.
Mr Dasuki, a retired colonel, was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, in 2015 over alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.