Supreme Court fixes March 2, 2018 to rule on Dasuki’s continued detention

By Martins Odeh

 

Abuja    –    The Supreme Court on Wednesday fixed March 2 for judgment on an appeal by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, challenging his alleged indefinite detention.
The panel of five Justices, led by Dattijo Mohammed, gave the date after counsels to the parties in the case adopted their addresses.
The ex-NSA had on June 15, 2016 at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, lost his bid to enforce his freedom after securing bails on all the charges against him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Dasuki is standing trial for allegedly mismanaging 2.1 billion dollars meant for purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents.
Dasuki’s counsel, Mr Joe Daudu, argued that the decision of the Court of Appeal was erroneous, adding that it was incumbent on the Supreme Court to restore the integrity of all courts.
Daudu submitted that it was out of place for the court of appeal to scuttle the fundamental rights of a citizen after well-considered decisions of four courts that admitted the applicant to bail.
He said that his client needed the bail to prepare his defence, adding that he could not have access to security documents while in detention.
“My Lords, Dasuki is already being treated as a convict, even when none of the charges brought against him has been concluded.
“We sincerely pray this esteemed court to do the needful by setting aside the decision of the lower court.
“We also pray the court to momentarily halt the applicant’s trial until the Federal Government obeys the bail order of court,’’ Daudu said.
Mr Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to EFCC, opposed the appeal, saying that it lacked merit and should be dismissed.
He said the bail condition granted Dasuki was perfected on Dec. 29, 2015, adding that a warrant of release to that effect was served on the Comptroller of Prisons in Kuje, upon which he was released.
Jacobs said the Federal Government had not violated his rights, adding that the applicant was only re-arrested by the operatives of the DSS over other fraud allegations.
He said that it was unfair for the applicant to consider his re-arrest as a disobedience to court’s order on his bail.
He said that no court bail was targeted at the DSS when granted.
“The EFCC which put Dasuki on trial on criminal charges at the FCT High Court cannot be held responsible for the action of the DSS on the ground that the two agencies are different entities.
“Besides, My Lords, the appeal court has said there was no existing order against the re-arrest of Dasuki.
“Suffice to say that there cannot be a disobedience to a non-existing court order.
“We pray the apex court to affirm the decision of the lower court which ordered the continuation of the applicant’s trial even while he remains in detention,’’ he said.
Dasuki had approached Supreme Court praying it to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which exonerated EFCC from his re-arrest shortly after he perfected his bail conditions.
He further asked the court to void the ruling of the Federal High Court.
The trial court had held that DSS and EFCC were distinct agents of the Federal Government, which is the complainant in the charges against the applicant.
Dasuki had alleged that such pronouncement had given the two agents of government handling the trial to act at variance and against justice.

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