The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Friday that the release of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, from detention by the Federal Government was based on compassionate grounds.
He also said in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Gwandu, who quoted him as speaking to the BBC Hausa and the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, that they were released because the government decided to comply with orders granting them bail.
Explaining why the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, were not released like Dasuki and Sowore, Malami said “the Federal Government does not interfere with the cases that are being prosecuted by a state government.”
El-Zakzaky and his wife are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State government on charges of murder.
Malami said the release of Sowore and Dasuki, which came after about four years of government disobeying at least five separate court orders granting bail to the ex-NSA, and another orders granting bail to Sowore in September and November 2019 was a demonstration of government’s commitment to rule of law.
He maintained that it was not due to any domestic or international pressures.
He said, “The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.
“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.”