By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has ordered the Federal Government to release the detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Giving the ruling, the Judge held that the embattled NSA boss continued detection is illegal and should be released forthwith, adding that government action amounted to gross violation of Dasuki’s fundamental right to liberty.
It dismissed prosecution’s claim that the ex-NSA was being detained for the sake of national security and over alleged role he played in the illegal diversion of $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms to fight against Boko Haram.
“The allegation of money laundering does not ipso facto affect the national security.
“It is curious to note that the applicant has been in detention for almost three years. The respondents cannot hold somebody in custody under the guise of investigation, Justice Ojukwu held.
The court maintained that the detention of the retired Col in disobedience to orders of various trial courts is “an aberration of the rule of law.”
Further in the ruling, the court also dismissed the claims of the federal government that Dasuki was being held on fresh allegations of money laundering, adding that another claim of abuse of court process by filing multiple cases in court is baseless and frivolous.
Consequently, the judge granted him bail to the tune of N200million with two sureties.
The court maintained that the sureties must be either a civil servant of Grade Level 16 at the minimum in the Federal Civil Service or private citizens, who have landed properties in the municipal areas of Abuja.
However, Dasuki’s prayer, seeking the court to award N5billion against the federal government fir violation of his human rights was rejected by the court.
The defendant had through his counsel, Ahmed Raji, prayed the court for a declaration that he is entitled to his fundamental rights to human dignity as enshrined under section 35 of the constitution.
The applicant also sought for an order compelling the DSS to release him unconditionally.
He also prayed for a declaration that his detention since 2015 violated his fundamental rights and therefore is unconstitutional, illegal etc.
Furthermore, Dasuki pleaded the court for an order admitting him on bail in liberal terms as well as an order of injunction restraining the DSS from arresting, detaining, harassing, etc him.
Dasuki equally demanded an order for the DSS to tender a public apology to him in two national dailies.
The operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) in December 2015 arrested Dasuki- and he has remained in their custody since the arrest.
Dasuki was brought before the federal high court allegedly diverting $2.1 billion from his former office. He is also accused of unlawful possession of firearms.