The Disciplinary Panel of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee is to open hearing on an allegation of professional misconduct filed against the immediate-past attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The hearing is scheduled to begin on June 14.
In an interview with our correspondent on Saturday, Malami revealed that he was aware of the panel’s scheduled hearing.
“I’m aware,” he said but did not respond to further inquiry about whether he had filed his defence and if he would be attending the hearing scheduled for Friday.
The LPPC panel’s hearing notice which was obtained by PRNigeria, an online news portal, was signed by the Secretary, the Disciplinary Committee of the Legal Practitioners’ Privilege Committee, Patricia Orhomuru.
The hearing notice was quoted to bear a reference No: PET/LPPC/23/2018 and dated May 16, 2019.
It read in part, “Take notice that the above matter is fixed for hearing by the Disciplinary Committee of the Legal Practitioner Privileged Committee of the Office of Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja on June 14, 2019 at 11.00 o’clock in the forenoon.”
The family of the detained former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), had petitioned the LPDC, the Nigerian Bar Association and other bodies requesting that disciplinary action be taken against Malami for allegedly endorsing Dasuki’s continued detention.
The petition was in reaction to Malami’s last year media comment suggesting that Dasuki, despite meeting the latest bail granted him by the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 2, 2018, would not be released from the custody of the Department of State Service on the grounds of national security.
Copies of the petition were sent to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (the body that confers on, suspends and withdraws from lawyers the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria), and the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee (the body saddled with disciplining lawyers for acts of misconduct).
The petitioners want Malami to be disciplined not just as a lawyer but also as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The petitions, dated July 23, 2018, were signed by Dasuki’s son, Abubakar Dasuki; the detainee’s wife, Hajia Bintu Sambo-Dasuki, and his nephew, Senator Umaru Dahiru.
The petition read in part, “This petition has been written in order for you to also investigate the propriety of the inflammatory contemptuous and libelous statement made by Abubakar Malami, not only as a lawyer, but also as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Attorney-General of the Federation.
“One begins to wonder whether Abubakar Malami (SAN) is fit to be a barrister and solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let alone a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Attorney-General of the Federation. While the whole world watches as our rule of law is being trodden upon, we are hopeful the imminent catastrophe can be avoided by your intervention.”
The petition has two titles, one of which accused Malami of making “unsalutary unprofessional statement” in respect of Dasuki’s bail.
It also accused him of denigrating the court, violating the Constitution and encouraging the continued breach of the fundamental human rights of Dasuki.
The second title states that the Federal Government of Nigeria had resolved “not to comply with any order of court admitting Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to bail.”
The petition sought investigations into the statements credited to Malami.