The immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that he deliberately ignored some court orders in the interest of the public, Igbere TV reports.
Malami said this on Friday during his screening as a ministerial nominee in response to a question by Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe.
The former AGF had come under attack for severally disobeying orders to release certain persons who have been granted bail by a competent court, Igbere TV reports.
Top among those who have remained in prison custody despite court orders granting them bail is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Malami said he was performing his duty to look out for the overall interest of the general public.
“I concede that I have a responsibility as AGF to protect individual rights but looking at the provisions of Section 174 of the constitution, I want to state further that the Office of the AGF is meant to protect public interest and where the individual interests conflicts with the public interest of 180 million Nigerians that are interested in having this country integrated must naturally prevail; and I think that position has been stated by the apex court in the case of Asari Dokubo Vs Federal Republic of Nigeria that when an individual interest conflicts with public interest, the public interest will naturally prevail,” he said.
After some lawmakers protested their displeasure with his response, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who is from Malami’s home state of Kebbi, said the former AGF had answered the questions brilliantly and asked that he allowed to “take a bow”.
The former AGF was then allowed to leave after Senate President Ahmad Lawan had put the question to a voice vote.