Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, may not be released soon.
The immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, told the Senate that El-Zakzaky, Dasuki and others were being held in the overall national interest.
He spoke Friday during his screening as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, had asked Malami to explain to Nigerians why the rights of those granted bail by the court were still being violated by keeping them in custody.
Responding, Malami quoting Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), noted that his responsibility was also to protect public interest.
The Nation quoted him as saying: “Abaribe asked his question relying on Section 36, 37 and 38 of the Constitution as they relate to the rights of the individual. I concede that I have had the responsibility to protect the rights of every Nigerian.
“The office of the AGF is made to protect the rights of individuals and the corporate rights of the nation. Section 174 of the Constitution is explicit that where the individual interest conflict with public interest, public interest prevails.”
He said that Asari Dokubo’s case gave credence to his assertion that national interest supersedes individual interest.
Malami added that under his watch as AGF and minister Justice, over 63-terrorism related cases were instituted against suspects terrorists.
“About 59 terrorism convictions out of 63 cases within a space of four years were secured when I was the Minister of Justice. Over 4,400 criminal cases were prosecuted within a space of four years.”