Former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd), has sued the Federal Government over his continued detention, demanding payment of N500 million for damages.
In the suit filed by his lawyer, Robert Emukpoeruo, before ECOWAS Court in Abuja, Dasuki asked the court to declare among others, that his continued detention after meeting the conditions for his bail which has been granted by three different courts was “unlawful, arbitrary and an egregious violation” of his human rights.
He also wants the sub-regional court to declare that the invasion of his privacy, both at his Abuja and Sokoto residences on July 16 and 17, 2015 respectively, and the “forceful and unlawful seizure” of his properties, “without any lawful order or warrant” is a huge violation of his fundamental rights and offended the country’s treaty obligations as a signatory to the listed legal instruments. He demanded the payment of N500 million for damages for infringement on his fundamental human rights.
Mr. Dasuki was first arrested by the State Security Service (SSS ) in July last year after a prolonged siege on his Abuja home. He was charged to court with illegal possession of arms and money laundering.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court later granted the retired colonel a request for his passport to be released, to enable him receive treatment abroad. However, his plan to travel was thwarted by the SSS, which, on November 5 laid another siege to his Abuja residence.
After several appearing and hearings in the court over mismanaging $2.1 billion released to purchase arms to beef up the military in order to fight the Boko Haram, Justice Husseini Baba Yusu, a presiding judge in a Federal High Court Abuja, granted bail to the accused person alongside four others standing trial with him.
The bail was the sum of N250 Million on the condition that they produce a surety each who must be a serving or retired civil servant not lower than the rank of a director and must also show possession of a property within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) worth the same amount.
He was re-arrested again at the gate of the Kuje Prison, Abuja, while he was about leaving the prison after meeting the bail conditions set for him by SSS operatives who said he was being investigated on another matter.
Dasuki has continued in detention ever since in spite of meeting the conditions for his bail. A Lagos-based lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, had condemned the continual detention of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, and the Biafran activist, Nnamdi Kanu, even after they had been granted bail. He urged the Federal Government to release them without further delay.
In other development, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday has ordered that Dasuki be produced in court on February 16 following his absence in court without any reason. The judge said it is compulsory for a defendant in a criminal matter to be physically present in court at every stage of the prosecution except where the presence is excused.
He also added:
I am worried that the accused is not here. I do not want to set a bad precedent. Except the court gives express order for the defendant not to be in court, the accused must be brought to court from wherever he is. The accused must be here because I am not sure if what I am doing right now in the absence of the accused is not an illegality.
Government and whoever is concerned must endeavour to do the necessary thing. The accused having been formally charged in court, must be produced in court for trial on the appointed days in compliance with the provisions of the law.