Abubakar Malami, former attorney-general of the federation, has explained why he disobeys some court orders despite public pressure.
Malami explained this while responding to questions during his screening at the senate, in Abuja, on Friday.
Malami was accused by Eyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate minority leader, of failing to guarantee the rights of some Nigerians, demanding an explanation.
“Would you be kind to explain to Nigerians why you as attorney general has not been able to guarantee the right of those Nigerians who have been granted bail and are still in custody?” the senator asked.
Responding to the question, Malami said it is his responsibility to protect the interest of Nigerians and not the rights of individuals.
“I concede that I have had a responsibility as the attorney general of the federation to protect individual rights but looking at the provisions of section 174 of the constitution of Nigeria, I want to reiterate and state further that the office of the attorney general is meant to protect public interest and where the individual interest conflicts with public interest, the interest of 180 million Nigerians that are interested in having this country integrated must naturally prevail,” he said.
“And I think that position has been very well captured by the apex court that stated in the case of Asare Dokubo vs Federal Republic of Nigeria that when an individual interest conflicts the public interest, the public interest naturally prevails.”
Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), among others have remained in detention despite court orders asking them to be released.