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Published On: Wed, Nov 20th, 2019

I didn’t ask to be kept in DSS custody since 2015 – Dasuki

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, has said that he did not apply to be kept in the custody of the Directorate of State Services, DSS.

Dasuki, in a statement through his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate last night said since 2015, Dasuki had challenged his continuous detention by the DSS.
Last week, the Spokesman of the DSS, Mr. Peter Afunnaya, had said that many of those in their custody, including Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), have opted to remain in their custody.
According to him, Dasuki and many others appealed to the courts to be left in the custody of the DSS and not the Correctional Centres (Prisons).
He said the reason for this is because of the quality of the holding facilities provided by the DSS, all of which, are purportedly good and within international standards.
But Mr. Raji said the statement, as alluring as it sounds, is a contradiction of the events that have taken place since 2015, when charges were first preferred against Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.).
He said on several occasions his client had applied for bail and was granted by the courts.
But each time the bail condition is met, the DSS picks him up immediately and denied him his right to the bail he was granted.
He said ‘’The Federal Government, while confirming the continued detention of Col. Dasuki, explained that such actions were due to the severity of the alleged offences. Excerpts of these events were well stated in several reports of National Dailies of 31st December, 2015.
In complying with the due process of law, Col. Dasuki filed processes seeking to extend the travel period granted by the Federal High Court and DSS vehemently opposed the application, and continued to barricade Col. Dasuki’s residence. Shortly thereafter, two separate Charges were preferred against him at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in Charge No. FCT/CR/42/2015 & Charge No. FCT/CR/43/2015 against Col. Dasuki, while DSS continued to detain him on purported investigation on allegations of money laundering offences.
‘’Bail was subsequently granted on the charges on December 21, 2015 and December 18, 2015, terms of which were duly complied with. Consequently, he was released by the Kuje Prison authorities where he was remanded, but on stepping out of the gate of the Prison, he was seized by the men of DSS and he has been kept by them since.
Since the re-arrest of Col. Dasuki in December 2015, no further investigation was carried out and no new charges were preferred against him. In challenging his unlawful detention and lack of access to medical treatment, Col. Dasuki was compelled to approach the ECOWAS Court for the enforcement of his fundamental human right in Suit No. ECW/CCJ/APP/01/16, where it was held by the law lords of the ECOWAS Court on 4th October 2016, that the fundamental human right to liberty of Col. Dasuki had been infringed upon, by officers of the DSS’’.
He said if indeed Dasuki is comfortable in the DSS custody, why will he continue to approach the court for his release from detention.
‘’Finally, a fundamental Human Rights action was filed on behalf of Col. Dasuki at the Federal High Court – Abuja, on the 15th of March, 2018 seeking to protect his right to 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. The Federal High Court, Coram: Justice Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, on the 2nd of July 2018, found the continued detention of Col. Dasuki to be unlawful and granted bail on terms.
‘’The Federal Government, has since 2015, failed to comply with any of the bail orders of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Federal High Court as well as the ECOWAS Court, granted in favour of Col. Dasuki.
‘’The poser then becomes; why would an individual choose to remain in custody, contrary to his constitutional and internationally enshrined fundamental human rights, and still continuously, challenge his unlawful detention at both National and International fora?
“It is therefore most incorrect and inaccurate to claim that Col. Dasuki prayed the Court to be kept in DSS facility. This is far from the truth. Perhaps, there is no synergy between the Counsel appearing for the government in Dasuki matters and the DSS hierarchy. Consequently, we appeal to all Authorities, and principally – DSS, to comply with the various extant Orders of the Court, by immediately releasing Col. Dasuki. (Rtd.).’’

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