By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ahmed Raji (SAN), the lead counsel to detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, has dismissed the Department of State Service (DSS) claim that retired the Colonel preferred to be kept in its custody than with Correctional Services.
Dasuki has been in custody of the DSS since 2015 even after bail by four different courts in Nigeria and the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In a statement on Monday, Raji wondered why an individual will, after bails, choose to remain in DSS custody contrary to his fundamental human rights.
He said: “This statement, as alluring as it sounds, is a contradiction of the events that have taken place since 2015, when charges were first preferred against Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
“It is therefore most incorrect and inaccurate to claim that Col. Dasuki prayed the Court to be kept in DSS facility. This is far from the truth. Perhaps, there is no synergy between the Counsel appearing for the government in Dasuki matters and the DSS hierarchy.
“Consequently, we appeal to all Authorities, and principally – DSS, to comply with the various extant Orders of the Court, by immediately releasing Col. Dasuki (rtd)”.
Raji recalled Dasuki’s first arraignment and bail and noted that his re-arrest in December 2015, no further investigation has been carried out nor new charges filed.
He said: “On 3rd November 2015, the Federal High Court – Abuja, after admitting Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) to bail on self-recognizance, granted him leave to travel abroad for a three-week medical consultation, on account of failing health.
“As expected of an individual seeking to enjoy the bail terms granted by the Court and the constitutionally protected presumption of innocence in his favour, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) attempted to seek the necessary medical attention but Officers of the DSS laid siege on his house in Asokoro, in brazen defiance of the Order of Court; and thereby deliberately disallowed him from accomplishing the terms of the Order.
“The Federal Government, while confirming the continued detention of Col. Dasuki, explained that such actions were due to the severity of the alleged offences. Excerpts of these events were well stated in several reports of National Dailies of 31st December, 2015.
“In complying with the due process of law, Col. Dasuki filed processes seeking to extend the travel period granted by the Federal High Court and DSS vehemently opposed the application, and continued to barricade Col. Dasuki’s residence.
“Shortly thereafter, two separate Charges were preferred against him at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in Charge No. FCT/CR/42/2015 & Charge No. FCT/CR/43/2015 against Col. Dasuki, while DSS continued to detain him on purported investigation on allegations of money laundering offences.
“Bail was subsequently granted on the charges on December 21, 2015 and December 18, 2015, terms of which were duly complied with.
“Consequently, he was released by the Kuje Prison authorities where he was remanded, but on stepping out of the gate of the Prison, he was seized by the men of DSS and he has been kept by them since then.