Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has asked the Federal Government to comply with court orders in Nigeria, just as it has complied with orders of the court in Britain.
In a letter addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), dated December 1, Falana wondered why the FG would easily and readily obey British court orders but flagrantly and consistently disobey its own court orders.
He cited the court case between the FG and a British firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), where he alleged that the Federal Government was celebrating what he described as variation of the court orders to deposit $200 million.
He reminded the AGF how the leave granted the FG to appeal against the judgment of the British Commercial Court in London after posting a bank guarantee of $200 million awarded in favour of P&ID was celebrated by his office.
According to Falana, the AGF was quoted to have said: “Our application for variation of the order was allowed and we are, as a result, not making cash deposit but posting a bank guarantee. We remain in control of our funds by the act of acceptance of the guarantee. The advantage of the variation in the judgment from direct deposit of cash to posting of bank guarantee is that the money and its control resides in the Federal Government as against if it were otherwise”
He, however, maintained that the FG had earlier paid the costs of £250,000.00 awarded in favour of P&lD by the same British Commercial Court, even when it was not satisfied with the judgement.
Falana, therefore, accused the FG of deceiving the international community by obeying the British court orders just to paint a picture of a country that respects the Rule of Law, whereas in reality, it has consistently disobeyed several court orders in Nigeria.
“For instance, the Department of State Service (DSS) has continued to detain our clients, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, in defiance of the order of the Federal High Court which has admitted them to bail pending trial,” he stated.
Falana wondered why the DSS has insisted on approving the sureties of his clients after they have been verified by a Federal High Court; a development he described as novel and strange.
“From the information at our disposal, there is no precedent whatsoever for the illegal demand. Instead of purging the security agency of such contempt of the Federal High Court, the prosecutor, Dr. Hassan Liman (SAN), whom you engaged to prosecute our clients, has curiously applied to the trial court to have them transferred to a correctional centre and detained indefinitely for having the temerity to question the illegal directive to produce their sureties,” he added.