The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said in a Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme, that the Federal Government was not wrong to freeze the bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners.
“Government is not wrong particularly in circumstances that justifies intense investigation. It is the end result of an investigation that can determine whether government is right or wrong as determine by the court on the basis of the facts presented,” he said.
Following the destruction that trailed the #EndSARS protests last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria obtained a court order to freeze the accounts of the #EndSARS promoters.
However, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the CBN to unfreeze the accounts of the #EndSARS campaigners.
Some of the #EndSARS campaigners had since threatened to sue the Federal Government for trampling on their rights by freezing their accounts.
Malami had said hours later after receiving the order from the court to unfreeze the accounts, that said the decision to comply with the court order or not would not be out of intimidation, adding that the government cannot be intimidated.
He said, “The decision to comply with the court order or not is not a decision that is a product of intimidation; government cannot be intimidated, government cannot in anyway be compromised as far as the exercise of its constitutional powers are concerned but that does not mean the government is perpetually inconsiderate.
“The bottom-line is that the public interest matters most in whatever decision the government arrives at as far as compliance or non-compliance with the orders or judgments of the court are concerned. Intimidation is out of it, threats are out of it, constitutionality is the bottom-line.”
Malami stated further, that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was very lenient with the #EndSARS protesters, adding that no government all over the world, would tolerate a situation where so many policemen were murdered because citizens expressed their rights to lawful assembly and freedom of expression.
He however added, that the government would continue to protect Nigerians and their constitutional rights.
“The government is there to ensure there are no security threats and in so doing, the true position of things is that it is the responsibility of the government to accord protection to the lives of the citizens, their personal liberty, freedom of movement, and indeed accord protection to all the constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals.
“So, the government, can, on no account, be forced to submission when protection of these rights are concerned” .