– The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has ruled that detention of former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki’s by the Nigerian government was unlawful.
– The government had argued that Dasuki was detained for his own protection and for the sake of national security
– Government’s lawyers had also denied that Dasuki ever fulfilled the conditions for his bail and was not released as ordered by three high courts
The ECOWAS Court of Justice has declared the arrest and detention of former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki by the Nigerian government as unlawful.
Ruling on the case brought against the federal government before it by Dasuki over his continued detention on Tuesday, October 4, the court said the government’s action was arbitrary and anti-democratic.
A three-member panel led by Justice Friday Nwoke ruled that the government was wrong in arresting Dasuki without a search warrant. It ruled that the pattern of arrest was contrary to the provisions of Section 28 of the Nigerian Police Act.
The court ruled that the federal government failed to prove the reasons for the arrest and detention of Dasuki because documents presented before it only mentioned the allegations of fraud and illegal possession of arms.
For this, the government was then ordered to pay a sum of N15 million as damages to Dasuki.
According to Premium Times report, Dasuki had filed a N500million lawsuit against the government for keeping him detained since December 29, 2015 even after three different high courts where he was arraigned on corruption charges granted him bail
Lawyers representing the federal government Williams Obiora and Alu Agbi had told the court that Dasuki was in detention for his own protection.
They noted that his case bordered on national security which superseded individual security, hence his detention by the State Security Service (SSS).
But Dasuki’s lawyer, Robert Emukperuo urged the court to disregard arguments on the grounds that they were not in line with the documents filed.
Emukperuo asked the court to grant his client’s application oral evidence by the one of the witnesses alluded to safety and possibility of escape and not national security, contrary to one of the documents tendered by the defence.
Proceedings in the case had ended with the conclusion of oral evidence by two SSS officials and judgement was supposed to be on June 29 but the presiding judge Justice Friday Nwoke postponed the ruling because of a vacation.
NEWSNG recalls that there was some drama at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday, September 29, when retired colonel Sambo Dasuki failed to show up in court.
He was supposed to be present for the ongoing trial in the money laundering and breach of trust charges brought against him and others since last year.
The ECOWAS Court has in the past lamented that member countries don’t abide by its judgements.