Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has responded to allegations by the South West Governors Forum over the enforcement of a Supreme Court judgement that led to the Magodo phase 2 estate invasion by security officers.
In a statement signed by Dr Umar Gwandu, Malami’s special assistant on media and public relations, the AGF said his Office will take an exception to the Southwest governors unjustifiable insinuation of impunity against his office over the execution of the Supreme Court judgement.
The Southwest governors had on Wednesday released a statement condemning the role of the AGF in the refusal of a Chief Superintendent of Police to obey orders by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to pull out his men and exit the estate.
What the AGF is saying
Malami said the press statement released by the Southwest governors came as a surprise to him. He described it as “a vituperation of ulterior motives of some political class who derived pleasure in dragging the name of Malami in the mud to achieve some sinister objectives.”
Speaking further, the AGF said, “It is a common knowledge that execution of the judgment and orders of Courts of competent jurisdiction, and the Court of last resort in the circumstances remains a cardinal component of the rule of law and the office of the Attorney General wonders how maintenance of the law and orders in the course of execution of the judgment of the supreme can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly.”
He noted that supreme judgment reaffirms the decision of the Court of Appeal and High Court delivered on 31st December 1993. He went on to say that “It is important to state that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation belongs to the Executive arm of the Government. The Supreme Court belongs to the Judiciary.
“The role of the executive is, in this respect, simply to aid the maintenance of law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land.
“Let it be known that the issue is regarding a Supreme Court Judgement that was delivered in 2012 long before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in office at a time when Malami was not a Minister.“
Malama further reiterated that his office would love if, the coming together of the South West governors will help in revealing the circumstances that are preventing the Lagos State government from enforcing the decision of the apex court.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice would appreciate if the coalition of the Governors will help to unravel the circumstances preventing the Lagos State Government from enforcing the court order despite several attempts from 2012- 2015 and so-called settlement initiative started in 2016,“ he said.
He said the doctrine of separation of powers and obedience to the rule of law is a cardinal pillar of a democratic government and the sanctity of the rule of law is not a matter of choice.
In case you missed it
Recall Nairametrics reported that Residents of Magodo Phase 2 were on lockdown over the execution of a court injunction favouring landowners under the Shangisha Landlord Association.
It was also reported that the Lagos state government had described the invasion as unwarranted and illegal.
Yesterday, Nairametrics reported that the leader of the Police team, Chief Superintendent of Police, Abimbola Oyewole defied Governor Sanwo-Olu’s order to vacate the estate saying he was acting on the orders of the AGF and the IGP.
Nairametrics also reported that Governor Sanwo-Olu had intervened and invited parties to a meeting regarding the Magodo invasion.