Ecowas court fines Nigerian government N15million orders Dasuki’s release
The court of Economic Community of West African states, ECOWAS, declared the arrest and detention of Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, over the alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for the procurement of arms during Jonathan’s administration as unlawful and arbitrary.
Dasuki was rearrested by members of Nigeria State Security Service, despite meeting his bail conditions in November last year and has remained in the custody of the SSS since then.
On Tuesday, Justice Friday Nwoke, led a three-man panel to declare Dasuki free, after saying that Nigerian government had no search warrant to arrest Dasuki hence the arrest was unlawful. He said the pattern of arrest negates the provisions of section 28,of the Nigerian Police Act.
The court further said that the submission of the Nigerian government,that it came with a search warrant to Mr Dasuki’s house but could not give it to him, because of the presence of security officers in his home, who was said to have resisted them was not valid in proving its point.
The judge stated that the search warrant presented before the ECOWAS court was not certified and so lacks verifiable authenticity.
The court observed that Section 143 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, allows that where such a search is proposed by the police or other authorities, an application must first be proposed to a court of law and granted after due consideration of the said application in compliance with section 144 of the ACJA act.
The judge also said that ECOWAS was not ready to determine whether Dasuki’s possession of arms amounted to an offence or not, rather concluded that the arrest was against the law and a violation of local and international right to liberty.
In view of the above, the court ruled the federal government to pay a sum of N15million as damages to Mr Dasuki. It also demanded that the cost of litigation will be summed up and charged against the Nigeria government.