The immediate-past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, says he will appear before the disciplinary panel of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee on Friday to face the petitioners seeking the stripping of his Senior Advocate of Nigeria rank for alleged misconduct.
Malami, who confirmed this to Punch not, TheNigeriaLawyer on Monday, said apart from the petition filed against him by some family members of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, another one was filed against him by ‘Interstellar’.
He told our correspondent that he had filed his defence.
“Very well. I will appear. I have filed my defence for the two matters in contention – Dasuki’s matter and one other relating to a judgment debt titled ‘Interstellar’,” he said while responding to our correspondent’s inquiry on Monday.
Giving an insight into what the second petition was about, Malami said the petitioner accused him of not doing enough to ensure the payment of its proceeds of a judgment it had obtained.
Some members of Dasuki’s family had petitioned the LPDC, Nigerian Bar Association and other bodies, demanding a disciplinary action be taken against Malami for allegedly endorsing Dasuki’s continued detention.
The petition was sparked by Malami’s comments in the media last year suggesting that Dasuki, despite meeting the latest bail granted him by the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 2, 2018, would not be released from the custody of the Department of State Services on the grounds of national security.
Copies of the petition were sent to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (the body that confers on, suspends and withdraws from lawyers, the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria) and the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee (the body saddled with disciplining lawyers for misconduct).
The petitioners prayed that Malami be disciplined, not just as a lawyer but also as a SAN.
The petition dated July 23, 2018 was signed by Dasuki’s son, Abubakar Dasuki, his wife, Hajia Bintu Sambo-Dasuki, and his nephew, Senator Umaru Dahiru.
A copy of the petition read in part, “This petition has been written in order for you to also investigate the propriety of the inflammatory contemptuous and libellous statement made by Abubakar Malami, not only as a lawyer, but also as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation.
“One begins to wonder whether Abubakar Malami (SAN) is fit to be a barrister and solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let alone a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Attorney General of the Federation. While the whole world watches as the rule of law is being trodden upon, we are hopeful the imminent catastrophe can be avoided by your intervention.”
They sought investigations into the statements attributed to Malami.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja in her July 2, 2018 judgment granted the ex-NSA bail in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum.
The judgment, which described Dasuki’s detention since December 29, 2015 as illegal, was specifically directed at the AGF, DSS and its director-general, who were the defendants.
The LPDC panel has issued a hearing notice signed by the Secretary, the committee, Patricia Orhomuru.