FG to release Dasuki – The Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice on Tuesday declared the arrest and continued detention of the immediate past former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), as unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty.
The court ordered that the former NSA be released from the custody of the Department of State Services, whose operatives re-arrested him shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison, Abuja on bail on December 29, 2015.
Dasuki, who was arrested for alleged economic crimes and other offences, was later granted bail by all three courts where he is currently facing charges relating to criminal diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms for fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.
But he had remained in the custody of the DSS since he was re-arrested at Kuje prison on December 29, 2015 upon being released after fulfilling the bail conditions granted by the courts.
But ruling on Tuesday on the fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Dasuki, the ECOWAS court said it was wrong for the Federal Government to continue to detain him over undisclosed offences after he had been granted bail by different courts where he was being prosecuted.
The court, in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel, read by Justice Chijioke Nwoke, also awarded N15m damages against the Federal Government.
It ordered the Federal Government to release him and his belongings that were seized from him by the state agents.
The court held that the Nigerian government was unable to substantiate the former NSA’s continued detention, concluding that the government’s act violated both national and international laws on the right of persons and citizens to personal liberty.
It also faulted the search of the NSA’s houses in Abuja and Sokoto without valid search warrant.
The court, reading its findings, ruled that the Nigerian government took the law into its hands and made mockery of the rule of law by arresting the applicant without warrant of arrest or warrant of detention when he had legally been granted bail by the appropriate courts.
According to the court, detention order must be made in writing and must be delivered to the suspect.