Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has confirmed sending policemen to Magodo Phase 2 Estate area of Lagos State.
This came after South-West governors took a swipe at him and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba over the deployment of police to the Lagos community.
The Governors in a statement released by their Chairman, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, accused the IGP and AGF of showing “utter disrespect and gross moral turpitude.”
In the statement titled ‘Southwest Governors: Police officer’s disrespect to Sanwo-Olu an unacceptable intrusion,’ they stated that they received with disdain, videos of a “disgraceful exchange between a police officer, a CSP, and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the supposed chief security officer of the state at the Magodo Residential Estate.”
They stated that the “dubiously christened federalism”, treats elected representatives of the people as “mere prefects while appointed office holders ride roughshod over them as lords of the Manor. ”
They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to curb the excesses of certain elements bent on acting in a manner capable of eroding the bond of trust existing between the people and the Federal Government.
However Malami fired back at the South-West Governors by saying that the police officers were deployed because the state government refused to implement a Supreme Court judgment.
In the statement released by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, the AGF accused South-West Governors of supporting “impunity”.
The statement read;
“It is important to state that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation belongs to the Executive arm of the Government. The Supreme Court belongs to the Judiciary.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice takes exception to the Southwest Governors unjustifiable insinuation of impunity against the office of the Attorney General over execution of a judgment of the Supreme Court.
“The role of the executive is, in this respect, simply to aide the maintenance of law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land.
“Let it be known that the issue is regarding a Supreme Court Judgement that was delivered in 2012 long before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in office at a time when Malami was not a Minister.
“The judgment was a reaffirmation of the judgments of Court of Appeal and High Court delivered on 31st December, 1993.
“It is widely reported in the papers that the Lagos state Governor was quoted to have said “I’ve spoken extensively with the Inspector-General of Police and the Honourable Attorney-General, and we’ve resolved all the issues”.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, would appreciate if the coalition of the Governors will help to unravel the circumstances preventing the Lagos State Government from enforcing the court order despite several attempts from 2012- 2015 and so-called settlement initiative started in 2016.
“Some of the cardinal pillars of democratic Government are the doctrine of separation of powers and obedience to the rule of law inclusive of Court Orders.
“It is a common knowledge that execution of the judgment and orders of Courts of competent jurisdiction, and the Court of last resort in the circumstances remains a cardinal component of the rule of law and the office of the Attorney General wonders how maintenance of the law and orders in the course of execution of the judgment of the supreme can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly.
“We want restate that sanctity of the rule of law is not a matter of choice.”