The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of a suit filed by former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, till January 25, 2018.
Dasuki is challenging his continued detention for alleged involvement in the sharing of $2bn arms procurement funds during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He was also accused of awarding phantom contracts for the purchase of helicopters, fighter jets, and ammunition meant for military campaign against the Boko Haram sect.
The ex-NSA was arrested by the Department of State Service (DSS) on December 1, 2015 and has been in detention since then.
On June 15, 2016, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruled that the continued detention of Dasuki did not flout the court orders granting him bail.
The judgment of the Appeal Court was one of two separate appeals by Dasuki against the earlier rulings of Justice Husein Baba Yusuf of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Dasuki, through his lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), had sought in the motions dismissed by the two High Court Judges, orders prohibiting all the prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government from further trying him pending when they would release him from detention.
Dasuki had contended in the motions that this re-arrest shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison, Abuja, on December 29, 2015, upon fulfilling the bail conditions granted him by the two Judges with respect to his ongoing trials and his continued detention by the Department of State Service (DSS) was in violation of the court orders for the bail.
He also maintained that his continued detention by the DSS constituted an affront on the courts that granted bail to him.
But the five-man panel of the Court of Appeal, in a unanimous judgment, affirmed the High Court Judges’ rulings to the effect that Dasuki’s re-arrest and continued detention did not flout the orders granting bail to him.
In the lead judgment, Justice Abdul Aboki, who led the panel, held that Dasuki’s appeal was incompetent and dismissed it.
The court noticed that Dasuki was, after his arraignment, detained in Kuje prison and when he perfected his bail, was released on December 29, 2015 from the prison by the Controller of Prisons.
It further noted that the warrant of release was directed, by the court, at the Controller of Prisons. There was no controversy about this.
Justice Aboki ruled: “Once the appellant was released from prison on December 29, 2015, the order of court admitting him to bail and releasing him from prison, where he was detained, has been complied with
The order was not complied with by the EFCC as it was not the subject and it was not directed at it. For this reason, it is fallacious to argue that the EFCC did not comply or had disobeyed the court order for bail. The order was discharged by another agency of government – the Controller of Prisons.
“The power to punish for disobedience to court order is quasi-criminal, and by Section 36(9) of the 1999 Constitution, no person is guilty of any act or omission that was not an offence at the time it was committed. In the instant appeal, the trial judge in his ruling, giving right to this appeal, said he did not make any order against Dasuki’s re-arrest.”
Thus, the Appeal Court validated his continued detention, which he is now appealing against.
Dasuki had also dragged the Federal Government before the the ECOWAS court, claiming that his fundamental right to freedom of liberty was being trampled upon by his continued detention since December 2015 without trial.
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