A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on Monday fixed July 2 to deliver judgment in the fundamental rights enforcement suit that former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki filed the suit against the Federal Government over his continued detention.
Dasuki, who served as the NSA under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is challenging the legality of his prolonged detention since Nov. 3, 2015, despite the fact that he was granted bail by three different trial courts.
He is praying the court to declare his detention illegal and to award him N5 billion as general damages and compensation for gross violation of his fundamental rights.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018 for judgment after all the parties adopted their final briefs of argument.
Cited as Respondents in the suit were the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mr Lawal Daura, the DSS itself, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami. All the defendants raised objections against the suit, urging the court to dismiss it as lacking in merit.
It will be recalled that Dasuki was on Dec. 29, 2015, re-arrested by operatives of the DSS at the main gate of Kuje Prison shortly after he perfected all his bail conditions.
The ex-NSA is facing three separate charges before the Federal Capital Territory High Court at Maitama and the Federal High Court in Abuja, over his alleged complicity in the illegal diversion of about $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms to combat terrorism in the North-East, as well as for money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
The ECOWAS Court had in a judgment on Oct. 4, 2016, ordered FG to immediately release him from detention, an order FG had since refused to comply with.
FG had insisted before the ECOWAS court that it would be “extremely dangerous” to release Dasuki who it said constituted a threat to national security.
It told the regional court that Dasuki was kept on protective custody for his own safety in view of the calibre of political figures it said were implicated in the $2.1 billion arms probe.
It argued that an individual’s rights to freedom assume secondary place whenever national security was threatened. More so, FG maintained that Dasuki’s detention was justified based on intelligence and security reports at the disposal of security agencies in the country.
However, while adopting his brief of argument on Monday, Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, maintained that FG’s continued detention of his client on the ground that he would constitute a threat to national security if released was not legally justifiable.
He equally contended that allegations that Dasuki diverted funds meant for the war against insurgency, likewise the charge that he illegally possessed firearms, were subjects of the charge upon which his client was released on bail by the trial courts.
He urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the detained ex-NSA.