Monday, 9 April 2018

Dasuki sues DSS, others for illegal detention

The detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), has filed a fresh fundamental human rights enforcement suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja demanding his unconditional release from the custody of the Department of State Services.

Dasuki, who has been detained by the DSS since December 29, 2015, also demanded N5bn as “general damages and compensation” for the alleged violation of his rights.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018 and filed on March 15, 2018, the ex-NSA also urged the court to order the three respondents to the suit to tender public apology to him in two  widely published newspapers for the violation of his rights as enshrined under Sections 34(1), 35(1), (4) & (5), 37 & 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

The Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, the DSS itself, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, are joined as the first to the third respondents to the suit.

The suit has been assigned to Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court but no date has been fixed for its hearing.

The judgment of the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice delivered on October 4, 2016 ordering the release of the ex-NSA from the custody of the DSS has yet to be obeyed by the Federal Government.

The court had in its said judgment declared the ex-NSA’s continued detention as unlawful, arbitrary and a violation of his right to liberty, awarding N15m damages against the Federal Government and in favour of the detainee.

Earlier in December 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned him before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on two different sets of charges bordering on diversion of funds meant for arms to be used for fighting insurgency in the North-East.

The court remanded in him in Kuje prison in Abuja after he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 He was released from the prison on meeting his bail conditions but only to be re-arrested by the DSS operatives shortly thereafter.

The fresh suit by the ex-NSA came on the heels of the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on March 2, 2018 dismissing his case in which he had sought an order putting on hold his trial on charges of diversion of funds meant for purchase of arms until he is released from “unlawful” detention.

 Apart from seeking the monetary compensation of N5bn and public apology, he also sought among other prayers, “a declaration that the applicant is entitled to the dignity of his person, personal liberty, freedom of movement, private and family life as enshrined under Sections 34(1), 35(1), (4) & (5), 37 & 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

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