The Nigerian government has explained why the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, will not be released in spite of bail granted.
The attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, said the federal government cannot release Dasuki, because the allegation against him is a matter of public interest which has cost several lost of lives.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, had on July 2, 2018, granted bail to the former National Security Adviser but the Nigerian government is yet to obey the court order.
“if the dispute is about an issue that affects an entire country, then you have to remember that government is about the people and not for only an individual," Malami told Voice of America's Hausa Service.
"You have to look at it from this perspective. If the issue about an individual coincides with that, which affects the people of a country and you are now saying the government did not obey a court order that infringes on a single person’s rights."
Dasuki is currently being held by the Department of State Service and has been in custody for more than two years.
He is standing a trial for allegedly mismanaging 2.1 billion dollars meant for purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents and for unlawful possession of firearms.
Malami accused Dansuki of being responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 Nigerians through wilful of the funds meant for the purchase of military hardware were not diverted.
“Remember, we are talking about a person who was instrumental to the deaths of over 100,000 people. Are you saying that the rights of one person are more important than that of 100,000 who lost their lives?”
“Reports have shown that there was a massive mismanagement of funds meant for military hardware, which the military could not access and that led to the death of many, embezzlement of the fund and because of that many people have lost their lives. Obeying the court is not the issue per say.”
However, critics have speculated that the Buhari led government is trying to settle an old political rivalry dating back decades.
Dasuki, a former army colonel, is reported to have been the officer who arrested Buhari in 1985 during a bloodless coup that ended his 20-month stint as military ruler.
Dasuki in a statement submitted to an Abuja court said it was "crystal clear" he was being "punished by the powers that be for the perceived offences committed long before" without elaborating.