Nigerian Govt Investigating SSS Court Invasion - Malami

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11 December 2019

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, said the federal government has ordered an investigation into Friday's invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja, by the operatives of the State Security Service (SSS).

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the SSS officials invaded the court on Friday in a bid to rearrest an activist, Omoyele Sowore.

Mr Sowore had been released Thursday night, after 124 days in detention, based on the order of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.

Many Nigerians have criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for not condemning the court invasion and holding the SSS officials accountable.

Mr Malami announced the investigation during a visit to the Federal High Court on Wednesday.

He said he was in court was for a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of the court, John Tsoho.

The AGF avoided questions on the reason for Mr Sowore's rearrest, which had drawn criticism locally and internationally.

Mr Malami, answering other questions, said he did not visit the Chief Judge over Mr Sowore's case but to congratulate him on his confirmation by the Senate as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

"It is about tradition and not a coincidence but then the truth of the matter is, I'm not here about Sowore's case. I'm here to visit his lordship to congratulate him over his appointment but one thing about the judicial process, I think it is not the only case that the federal government is involved.

"As you rightly know, we have multiple cases and more serious cases than that of Sowore pending before the court generally, so the case of Sowore is certainly not an exception, so I cannot be here for an exclusive case.

Asked if he was not shocked by the SSS' conduct on Friday, he said, "Whatever affects the integrity of the court is a worrisome issue for us.

"I can never be preemptive of an incident over which I was not a live witness to."

The justice minister added "But one thing I am certain of is that the government has put in place mechanism for investigation of the reported incident.

"So, I would not like to be preemptive in terms of a conclusion, one way or the other, without allowing the consummation and conclusion of the investigation process."

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