OrderPaperToday – A civil society organisation, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), has accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of bias and using his office to prosecute private causes.
The CDHR’s accusation is in respect to the allegations and counter-allegations between the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and Senator Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi).
Recall that on August 25, Misau accused Idris of extorting money in exchange for special promotion and also monetizing police security to oil companies.
The lawmaker also raised an allegation that the police chief rewarded a police woman with promotion after getting her pregnant.
Idris then replied on August 27, alleging that the lawmaker illegally deserted the Nigerian Police Force and forged his retirement letter.
Malami on October 11 filed two separate charges at different courts against Misau which border on allegations of forgery.
The Minister of Justice also requested an arrest warrant on the lawmaker which was denied by the Federal Capital Territory High Court on October 16.
The court described the former’s application as “making hasty demands.”
However, CDHR in an open letter signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Henry Ekine on Monday, accused Malami of being biased.
The letter reads: “It is utterly worrisome that although the allegations by Senator Misau, being investigated by the Senate, are specifically directed at or against the person of Mr. Ibrahim Idris and not against the Federal Government or the Nigerian Police Force.
“But the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, exploiting your office and acting on behalf of the Federal Government, filed two separate charges in different courts against Senator Misau for allegedly making injurious statements against Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP.
“Both cases are pending in Abuja before the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, respectively. This decision to file two criminal charges against Senator Misau, apparently in favour of Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, in the circumstance, comes across as an abuse of your office as the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“By instituting those criminal charges against Senator Misau you have given the very dangerous impression that the Buhari Administration is determined to cover up allegations of corruption made against any public officer.”
The group also demanded that the AGF “immediately discontinue the embarrassing criminal charges against Senator Misau without any delay.”
The letter further stated: “Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, has filed a libel suit against Senator Isah Misau. Since Mr. Idris has rightly decided to defend his own reputation by suing for libel, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) is compelled to request that you immediately discontinue the embarrassing criminal charges against Senator Misau without any delay.
“We are convinced that the libel suit filed by Mr. Idris will restore his reputation if Senator Isah Misau fails to substantiate his allegations at the trial of the libel suit. The office of the Attorney General of the Federation is not to engage in taking up causes against citizens in apparent favour of certain individuals because they hold public offices.
“To consider our request for the withdrawal of the embarrassing criminal cases you have instituted on behalf of the Federal Government against Senator Misau, you are humbly advised to turn your mind to the authority of Aarthur Nwankwo v The State (1985),
“Where the Court of Appeal warned public officers in Nigeria to desist from using the machinery of the government to harass their opponents and that public officer who feel offended by any publication should sue for libel where their character will be put in issue.”