The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), absolved the Federal Government of blame in the freezing of #ENDSARS campaigners’ accounts.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in November last year frozen the accounts of 19 individuals and one private firm over their involvement in the #ENDSARS protest that rocked several parts of the country.
But the Federal High Court, Abuja, had earlier on Wednesday ordered the apex bank to unfreeze the protesters’ accounts.
The AGF, who featured in Channels TV programme, Politics Today, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was lenient with the #ENDSARS protesters.
He stressed that no government all over the world could tolerate a situation where scores of policemen were murdered because citizens expressed their rights to lawful assembly and freedom of expression.
Malami said: “The government is not wrong particularly in circumstances that justify 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.
“On the Abuja court’s order, 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.
“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.”