By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Wednesday, said the Federal Government would investigate the alleged invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by the Department of State Service, DSS, to re-arrest the convener of RevolutionNow Protest, Omoyele Sowore.
The AGF who spoke to newsmen after he paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to accord respect to the judiciary and the rule of law.
He said the government has put in place a mechanism to investigate the reported court incident that involved operatives of the DSS, saying he would not like to be preemptive in terms of what the conclusion of the investigation would be.
Fielding questions from journalists after he left the CJ’s office around 3:45 pm, Malami maintained that his visit had nothing to do with Sowore’s case.
He said: “As you rightly know, His lordship, the honourable Chief Judge of the Federal High Court has just been confirmed by the Senate and approved as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
“This is a laid down precedent that I have the responsibility to visit him, identify with him and congratulate him over his appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
“This is what the visit is about, to reassure his lordship of our commitment as a government and to congratulate him, having been appointed, and having been approved as the substantive Chief Judge and to assure him about the institution of the judiciary as well”.
Asked if his visit was to discuss the invasion of the court by the DSS in respect of Sowore’s case with the CJ, Malami said: “The truth is that I am not here about Sowore’s case. I am here to visit his lordship to congratulate him on his appointment.
“But one thing about the judicial process is that it is not the only case in which the Federal Government is involved as you rightly know.
“We have multiple cases that are more serious than that of Sowore pending before the court generally.
So the case of Sowore is certainly not an exception. So I cannot be here for an exclusive case when we have multiple thousands of cases against the interest of the government pending within the judicial circle not exclusively restricted to the Federal High Court.
“We are committed to the sanctity of the judiciary and the judicial system. As a government, we have established a tradition of respect for the rule of law. We have established a tradition of interest in the independence of the judiciary.
“You can rightly remember that as a government we assented to an amendment that gave effect to the independence to the judiciary at the state level, among others.
“And Mr President has put in place a committee that will see to the execution of the amendment to the Constitution that has been passed as it relates to the independence of the judiciary.
“So, I think we have an established of respect for the sanctity of the court, the sanctity of the courtroom and court premises, respect and interest for the independence of the judiciary.
“So our credentials relating to legislative processes, our credentials relating to upholding the independence of the judiciary are speaking for us as a government”.
Asked if he was appalled by the conduct of the DSS, Malami said: “Whatever affects the integrity of the court is a worrisome issue for us. I can never be preemptive of an incident over which I was not a live witness.
“But one thing I am certain of is that the government has but in place mechanism for investigation of the reported incident. So I would not like to be preemptive in terms of a conclusion, one way or the other, without allowing the consummation and conclusion of the investigation process”.
Asked if he knew the reason for Sowore’s re-arrest, Malami left without answering the question.