Former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) yesterday dragged the Federal Government before the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Court of Justice, over his continued detention without trial since December 2015.
Dasuki, who was re-arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Security Services, DSS, shortly after perfecting the third bail, granted him by the Nigerian Court, is asking the ECOWAS Court to enforce his fundamental rights as enshrined in the African Carter on the people and human rights and the Nigerian Constitution.
In the legal action instituted by his counsel, Mr. Robert Emukpoeruo, the former NSA is asking the ECOWAS Court to declare as unlawful, unconstitutional and breach of his fundamental right, his arrest since last year without a lawful court order.
The applicant also prayed the court to declare as unlawful and violation of his right to dignity of human person, privacy and family life guaranteed and protected under Section 34 and 37 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right and Article 12 of the Universal Human Right, the action of the Federal Government of Nigeria for keeping him in a dehumanising condition after he has been granted bail by courts of competent jurisdiction and after he had fulfilled bail conditions for his release.
He also asked the ECOWAS Court to declare that the invasion of his privacy, home, and correspondence at No 13, John Kadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja and Sultan Abubakar Road Sokoto and Sabon Birni Road Sokoto between July 16 and 17, 2015 and forceful and unlawful seizures of his properties without any lawful order or warrant of a court, constituted a gross violation of his fundamental rights under Section 44 of the Nigerian Constitution and other relevant laws.
He therefore prayed for an order of ECOWAS Court compelling the Federal Government or its agents to forthwith release him and also to order government to release to him all his unlawfully seized properties during the invasion of his houses.
Besides, Dasuki also prayed for an order of injunction restraining the federal government and its agents from further harassing, threatening, intimidating or infringing or interfering with his fundamental rights as guaranteed under relevant national and international laws on human rights protection.
Apart from seeking for his release to face charges in court, Dasuki also demanded a compensatory damages of N500 million against the government for its egregious violations of his rights as guaranteed under the law.
However, at the hearing yesterday, the Federal Government through its counsel, Mr. T. A. Gazalli, objected to Dasuki’s case on the ground that he has already been charged to Nigerian Courts for various alleged offences.
The counsel argued that the ECOWAS Court has no jurisdiction to enforce the bail conditions granted Dasuki because it cannot sit as an appellate court to the Nigerian Courts.
He therefore urged the Court not to entertain the case.
But counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Wale Balogun, urged the Court to dismiss the objection of the Federal Government for being misconceived and misplaced to the request of Dasuki before the Court.
Balogun told a panel of three Justices of ECOWAS Court, led by Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke that what Dasuki was asking for is the enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom, having being arrested and detained since December 2015 without trial or any lawful court order.
He claimed that there was no dispute in the fact that Dasuki was charged before three courts in Nigeria for various alleged offences and that he was granted bail by the three courts but was disallowed from enjoying the bail.
The counsel informed the ECOWAS Court that since December 2015 when the applicant was arrested and up till now, he has not been told of his offence or any charge preferred against him in the past four months, insisting that the continued detention of Dasuki is a violent breach of his fundamental right.
Balogun therefore urged the court to assume jurisdiction being a case of breach of fundamental right as instituted by Dasuki and to dismiss the objection of government for lacking merit.
The presiding Judge, Justice Nwoke who had earlier granted expeditious hearing in the matter, adjourned the case to April 11, 2016 for ruling on the jurisdiction of the court.


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