Dasuki: Court Asked to Dismiss Malami’s Defence, Disqualify Lawyers
The Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to strike out the entire process of the suit filed on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, for being incompetent and lacking merit.
This was contained in a suit filed on Monday by Mr. Johnmary Jideobi before Justice Evelyn Laha, in a case seeking to punish Malami over his comments opposing the bail granted to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The AGF had in the aftermath the bail granted to Dasuki by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in July 2018, defended the decision of the Federal Government and Department of State Services (DSS) to detain him in violation of the constitution citing national security.
To this end, Jideobi instituted a suit asking the Court to determine why Malami should disobey the Court and desecrate the constitution in the process with Dasuki having been granted bail in more than three different occasions.
The Plaintiff also contended that Malami as Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has professionally violated his oath of office and as a legal practitioner who is bound to uphold the constitution by making a statement disparaging the court ruling.
But the Plaintiff angered that the AGF is using official resources and his position to execute his defence, has in the latest suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/807/18, prayed the Court to also dismiss the process as it was filed by Counsels who are also incompetent to represent the Defendant.
According to the relief, Jideobi asked the Court to bar any legal practitioner in the employ of the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its Agencies from further filing any process or appearing in defence of the AGF in the suit.
The Plaintiff based his prayers on an eight-point ground including the fact that Malami occupies a public office of trust by virtue of his being bound by the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in Nigeria.
Jideobi noted that the suit instituted against the Minister of Justice was for his alleged violation of the oath he took as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to protect the constitution and not against his office as the AGF.
“The present suit was instituted by the Plaintiff, under the Rules of Professional Conduct of Lawyers 2007, enacted by the General Council of the Bar pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Act against the Defendant in his personal capacity to challenge his scandalous conduct as a Lawyer in publicly justifying the refusal of the Federal Government to obey the Order of this Honourable Court”, he said.
He also noted that all the processes filed in the suit on behalf of Malami have been endorsed by Legal Practitioners in the employ of the Federal Ministry of Justice thereby utilising government fund in personal matter.
The Plaintiff based this argument on the Supreme Court ruling on September 2, 2019 which frowned af the appearance of the Principal State Counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Abdullahi Abubakar, for President Muhammadu Buhari in personal litigation and held that “the action of the lawyer contravened the Provisions of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and that such practice must be discouraged”.
“Being a suit brought against the defendant in his private capacity as a high ranking member and leader of the Nigerian Bar, the Defendant is without powers to deploy the resources of the Nigerian State or the legal services of lawyers in the employ of the Federal Government of Nigeria to ward off this private suit as he is not entitled to same”, the Plaintiff said.
He also noted that the “appearance of the legal practitioners from the Federal Ministry of Justice which all along the Defendant in this suit has unlawfully enjoyed is incompetent do also the processes so far filed on behalf of the defendant”.
After hearing the suit, Justice Maha now adjourned the hearing of all pending applications to November 1, 2019.