On Tuesday, a Chief Superintendent of Police held his grounds against the directive of Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, demanding that policemen drafted to enforce a judgement of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, be withdrawn from the Magodo Estate in Lagos.
“Call your superiors in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here, as the Chief Security Officer. You don’t have any business being in my state and I want you to disengage right now,” Governor Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying.
Explaining that they were there at the instruction of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, through the AGF, the police chief superintendent politely responded, “I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, you can call them sir.”
While weighing in on the issue, Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has condemned the attack on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government and the Police over Magodo Estate in Lagos.
Malami’’s rejoinder came after the southwest governors had criticized federal authorities and Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He said the role of the executive is to maintain law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land. Malami decried their “unjustifiable insinuation of impunity” over execution of a judgment of the Supreme Court.
“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,” he said.
Malami described the reaction of the south-west governors, “a vituperation of ulterior motives of some political class” who derived pleasure in dragging him “to achieve some sinister objectives.”
Malami said Sanwo-Olu openly revealed that he spoke “extensively with the Inspector-General of Police and the Honourable Attorney-General, and we’ve resolved all the issues”.
The attorney general advised the south-west governors “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”.
“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.
“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 Court can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly,” he declared.