… seeks release, public apology
Detained former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has dragged the federal government before an Abuja high court to formally challenge his incarceration in the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS) since December last year without trial.
Dasuki in the fresh legal action is praying the court to order his immediate release from the claws of the federal government security agents either conditionally or un-conditionally.
The suit marked FCT/HC/ABJ/CV/2005/2016 instituted on his behalf by his two lead counsels Messrs Joseph Daudu SAN and Ahmed Raji SAN was brought pursuant to Order 11, Rule 1, 2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rule 2009.
Dasuki who claimed that his fundamental right to freedom of liberty and dignity to life has been grossly violated by the federal government with his detention prayed for an order of the court to compel the federal government to pay him N15B as general damages and compensation for his alleged illegal detention and incarceration in violation of his rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
He also prayed the court to compel defendants in the suit to jointly and severally tender a public apology to him to be published in two national dailies for the violation of his rights.
Defendants in the court action are the Department of State Security Service (DSSS), National Security Adviser (NSA), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Besides, Dasuki sought court declaration that he is entitled to his rights to dignity of human person, personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom of movement, private and family life and to acquire and own properties as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.
He also wants the court to declare that his arrest and continuous detention since December 29, 2015 in the custody of the DSSS and NSA by officers of the federal government without allowing him access to his medical personnel, members of his family and without charging him to court within the time prescribed by law is wrongful, unlawful, un-constitutional and a violation of his right granted by the country’s constitution.
In a 43 paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon, the applicant claimed to be a retired army officer, decent with no criminal record, lawfully resident in Nigeria and had served the country in various capacities.
He averred that on July 16, 2015, the agents of the federal government unlawfully invaded his houses in Abuja and Sokoto and that during the invasion, his properties mainly cars and monies were unlawfully carted away.
In the affidavit deposed to by one of his sons, Abubakar Dasuki, the applicant claimed that in protest against the unlawful invasion and detention, he instituted a court action at a federal high court for the enforcement of his right.
Upon receipt of the court process, the affidavit claimed that the federal government quickly charged him to court in charge number FHC/ABJ/CR/319/15 in September 2015 and that he was granted bail by the court.
Dasuki averred that upon his bail, he applied for court permission to travel abroad for medical attention and that the court granted him approval on November 3, 2015 but he following day, the security operatives in brazen defiance of the court permission, laid siege on his house and dis-allowed the trip.
He claimed that in spite of his life threatening ailment and persuasions, his house was kept under the siege during which he was not allowed to move out or receive any member of his family and visitors.
Dasuki said that on December 1 2015, the DSS operatives arrested him and that the following day, he was moved to EFCC custody from where he was on December 13 arraigned in an Abuja high court in the charge FCT/HC/CR/43/2015 where he was also admitted to bail.
The applicant claimed that he was on December 15, 2015 arraigned in the third court in the charge FCT/HC/CR/42/2016 where he was also granted bail.
Upon his release on bail at Kuje prison on December 29, 2015, Dasuki averred that he was re-arrested by the operatives of the DSS and had since been kept in solitary conferment, thereby impairing his ability to provide for his family.
The affidavit indicated that the concern and apprehension of his family became compounded when president Muhammadu Buhari in his maiden Presidential media chat of December 30, 2015 said that Dasuki will not be released because of the weight of charges against him and that he may likely jump bail.
The applicant claimed that unless the court comes to his rescue by protecting him and order his immediate release, his right to life, human dignity, personal liberty, privacy, family life, freedom of movement and right to own properties already impaired and violated by the defendants will continue to be impaired and put in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, hearing in the matter has been slated before Justice Peter Kekemekun after the yearly vacation of the FCT high court.