By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami(SAN) has said the statement of the South West Governors on the recent activities at Magodo estate phase 2 is “unjustifiable.”
The South West Governors had on Wednesday condemned the alleged role played by Malami in the deployment of police officers to Magodo estate phase 2 in a bid to enforce a Supreme Court judgement.
“We condemn, in very clear terms, the role of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, in this act of gross moral turpitude,” the governors said in a statement signed by Rotimi Akeredolu, the chairman of South West Governors Forum.
The governors’ comment came on the heels of a face-off between Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu, and a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) over the invasion of Magodo estate by police officers from Abuja.
The CSP had told Sanwo-Olu that the officers were at the estate on the instruction of Inspector-General of Police, Us man Baba, and Malami.
The Magodo estate issue follows a 2012 Supreme Court judgement in favour of the Shangisha landlords, represented by the Adeyiga family.
Responding to the South West governors’, Malami, in a statement by his media aide, Umar Gwandu, faulted the position of the governors, adding that the rule of law must be respected.
“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice takes exception to the South West Governors unjustifiable insinuation of impunity against the Office of the Attorney-General over execution of a judgement of the Supreme Court.
“The press release came to us as a surprise. We see 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.
“It is widely reported in the papers that the Lagos State Governor was quoted to have said ‘I’ve spoken extensively with the Inspector-General of Police and the Honourable Attorney-General, and we’ve resolved all the issues’.
“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.
“Some of the cardinal pillars of democratic government are the doctrine of separation of powers and obedience to the rule of law inclusive of court orders.
“It is a common knowledge that execution of the judgement 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 judgement of the Supreme Court can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly,” the statement read.