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ECOWAS Court Orders Sambo Dasuki’s Release, Slams N15m Compensation Against FG

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Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd)

Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd)

The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Monday declared the arrest and continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty.

The regional court held that the detention of Dasuki violated both national and international laws on the right of persons and citizens to freedom of liberty.

The court also held that the further arrest of Dasuki by government on November 4, after he was granted bail by a court of law, amounts to a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.

Dasuki had been charged with diversion of $2.1 billion meant for possession of military equipment. He was also accused of possessing illegal firearms.

Dasuki had approached the ECOWAS court March this year, after he was rearrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) after he met his bail conditions in November.

He asked the Court to enforce his fundamental right as enshrined in the African Charter on the People and Human Right.

The three-member panel led by Justice Friday Nwoke said Nigeria’s government was wrong in rearresting Dasuki without a search warrant, adding that the pattern of arrest negates the provisions of Section 28 of the Nigerian Police Act.

“Having perused the case before us, we have come to the conclusion that the re-arrest and detention of the applicant after he had been granted bail by three courts since last year make mockery of the rule of law. Executive arm should not interfere with the judiciary.

Even if the applicant has committed crimes of whatever nature, the principle of innocence must be respected and the fact that he has been charged to court does not disentitled him to freedom of liberty… Court must rise to their responsibilities and prevent executive lawlessness.

It is the applicant today; it could be anybody tomorrow. There is no legal basis for the re-arrest of the applicant other than to circumvent the bails granted by courts. We have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the purported search warrant claimed to have been obtained by the Nigerian government was an afterthought aimed at perverting the cost of justice because the so-called search warrant was not certified and to worsen the case the defendant claimed that it could not serve the same search warrant on the applicant

For the avoidance of doubt, anybody who commit crimes must be put on trial before an appropriate court but in doing so, the state must respect local and international laws in the prosecution of such persons,” Nwoke said, while delivering the ruling.

The court ruled that Federal Government should pay a sum of N15 million as damages to Dasuki, adding that the cost of litigation will be summed up and charged against the Nigerian government.

 

10 Comments

  1. Corolla

    October 4, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    “The court ruled that Federal Government should pay a sum of N15 million as damages to Dasuki”. Nigeria we hail thee #itisfinished

    • slice

      October 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Even the rich deserve justice

  2. yemite

    October 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Yes. That is what this present administration deserve, no one is above the Law. No one is exception obeying the Rule of Law. Federal government can’t re-arrest without follow the due process of Law, is it because they are in power? No No and No. Though Life and properties are involved but, government suppose approach higher court for justice before re-arrest him. so therefore federal government must learn from this and always lay good example by obeying the rules of Law.

  3. Confuzzled

    October 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Change begins with everyone, including the government, obeying the rule of law.

  4. Damilola

    October 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I really don’t understand Nigeria. It’s difficult to differentiate the highly morally corrupt from the average morally corrupt because they intertwine. Not that either is good but in a country like Nigeria, you judge by the devil you know and the one you don’t know. Where is ECOWAS when human rights or liberty has been violated for average citizens? Yes, I believe in rule of law, checks and balance but it’s suspicious when it’s already abused and only applied to benefit certain government officials.
    Okay EFCC, federal government should go ahead and do it the legal way but still have Dasuki, Saraki etc prosecuted. Who am I kidding government criminals walk around freely.
    I’m convinced, there’s a lot more bribery, corruption here. Dasuki turned the script on them just like Patience Jonathan. Can ECOWAS be questioned because they are also full of BS. sigh

  5. oversabi.

    October 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    @damilola, you really need to know your facts and understand the point, how many of the so called average citizens approached the ECOWAS Court for justice? more so instead of appreciating the precedent this would set for rule of law, you choose to only see bribery and corruption. we really have a long way to go. wake up and smell the coffee, its not about Patience or Dasuki, its about upholding the rule of law, encouraging due process and preserving our nacent democracy.

    • Damilola

      October 4, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      If you are going to correct me I say know your facts, Ms or Mr oversabi.
      How many average citizens approach ECOWAS court for justice? You are highly ignorant and unaware. Many actually do. I visited Abuja 2014, my brother works for a top law firm in Abuja and our uncle works in the headquarter. Going through the office, meeting and watching peopIe I was actually very impressed to see Nigerians who took legal action and not just complained. Even in lower courts, Nigerians their cases unfortunately it’s usually dismissed or unattended to. So, average people call, write everyday to get justice. They don’t even get called back let alone get justice to their liberty rights. If you are not high profile with big connection, have money to hire prominent lawyers ECOWAS ain’t reviewing your case. If the rule of law is going to be properly applied let it be a fair game all across. It’s more of personal or political party retaliation than anything else. ECOWAS is as corrupt as EFCC, as the federal government and as the people who are being accused they are all intertwine. Which is the reason it’s difficult to have a clear, unbiased prosecution in all of these cases. It’s easier to prosecute and follow the rules for an average criminal because there’s not much to deal with. So yes, there’s bribery and corruption involved. It’s inevitable in the system.

    • Dzy

      October 5, 2016 at 12:28 am

      The judgement is simple, you arrested and charged the subject, the court granted bail to the suspect. The suspect met the bail condition and was granted bail by the court. If EFCC for any reason needed to arrest the suspect again they need to go back to the court and get a warrant to re-arrest the suspect. Every body that is involved in legal and law enforcement any where in the world knows this It is against international human right laws .
      It becomes dangerous in a democracy when govt start breaking the rule of law. Trust me you would not want to live in that society. Govt should help strengthen the legal arm of govt. not destroy it.

  6. EE

    October 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    SMH, somebody better remind those ECOWAS judges who’s paying their damn salary. Morality of the Dasuki case aside (it has become stupid, try or free the man) Nigeria didn’t invent ECOWAS to take orders from it.

  7. tunmi

    October 4, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    But why rearrest him??

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