ECOWAS court orders release of Dasuki
ECOWAS court has ordered an immediate release of former National Security Adviser, Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who has been in detention since last December.
Sambo was arrested and detained over alleged fraudulent disbursement of over $2 billion meant for the purchase of weapons to fight boko haram sect in the Niger Delta region.
The court held that the claim that Dasuki was detained in his own interest was unreasonable and that Nigeria, being under a democratic government where the rule of law was expected to be protected, ought to act within the ambit of the law, since every nation was subject to the rule of law.
Justice Friday Nwoke, ordering his release from detention of the Department of State Security, awarded a N15 million fine in sambo’s favour against the Nigerian government for detaining him without a warrant of arrest and trial.
“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 December last year, made mockery of the rule of law. The 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 disentitle him to freedom of liberty. Courts 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 course 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 commits 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,”
The judge said his continued detention violated both the national and international laws on the rights of persons to freedom.
Dasuki’s counsel, Wale Balogun, addressing newsmen after the ruling, expects government to obey the order