Monday, May 10, 2021

Dasuki: Court fixes July 2 for judgment over former NSA’s ‘illegal detention’


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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A Federal High Court in Abuja will on July 2, 2018 deliver judgment on the three years illegal detention of the immediate-past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is a retired Colonel.

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court slated the date to deliver judgment in the fundamental rights enforcement suit that Mr Dasuki filed against the Federal Government over his continued detention after being granted bail by different courts of Law since 2015.

Mr Dasuki who served as the NSA under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is challenging legality of his prolonged detention since November 3, 2015, despite the fact that he was granted bail by four different trial courts.

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He is praying the court to declare his detention illegal and to award him N5billion as general damages and compensation for gross violation of his fundamental rights.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018 for judgment, after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.

Cited as Respondents in the suit were the Director-General of the Department of State Service, DSS, Lawal Daura, the DSS itself, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami.

All the defendants raised objections against the suit, urging the court to dismiss it as lacking in merit.

It will be recalled that Mr Dasuki was on December 29, 2015, re-arrested by operatives of the DSS at the main gate of Kuje Prison shortly after he perfected all his bail conditions.

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The ex-NSA is facing three separate charges before the Federal Capital Territory High Court at Maitama and the Federal High Court in Abuja, over his alleged complicity in illegal diversion of about $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms to combat terrorism in the North-East and alleged illegal possession of fire arms.

The ECOWAS Court had in a judgment on October 4, 2016, ordered FG to immediately release him from detention, an order FG had since refused to comply with.

FG had insisted before the ECOWAS court that it would be “extremely dangerous” to release Mr Dasuki who it said constituted a threat to national security.

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It told the regional court that Mr Dasuki was kept on protective custody for his own safety in view of the calibre of political figures it said were implicated in the $2.1billion arms probe.

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It argued that an individual’s rights to freedom assumes secondary place whenever national security was threatened.

However, while adopting his brief of argument Mr Dasuki’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, maintained that FG’s continued detention of his client on the ground that he would constitute a threat to national security if released, was not legally justifiable.

He equally contended that allegations that Mr Dasuki diverted funds meant for the war against insurgency, likewise the charge that he illegally possessed firearms, were subjects of the charge upon which his client was released on bail by the trial courts.

He urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the detained ex-NSA.

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