Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Supreme Court thursday fixed January 25, 2018, to decide the appeal filed by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), on the refusal of the federal government to obey the bail orders granted him by three different courts in the country.
The apex court fixed the date yesterday after counsel representing Dasuki, Joseph Bodunde Daudu (SAN), and counsel to the federal government, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), regularised all processes they filed in respect of the suit to set the stage for hearing.
Justice Musa Datijo Mohammed, who led four other justices at thursday’s proceedings, adjourned the matter to the appointed date after clearing all hurdles on the substantive matter.
Dasuki has been in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) since December 29, 2015.
He is praying the Supreme Court for an order to compel the federal government to obey the bail granted him by courts in the three different charges brought against him by the federal government.
In the alternative, Dasuki wants the apex court to stop his trial at both the Federal High Court and the Federal Capital Territory High Courts, pending the time the government will allow him to enjoy the bail granted him and to enable him prepare adequately for his defence in the three separate criminal charges against him.
In his brief of argument settled by Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Dasuki recalled that sometime in 2015, he was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.
The appellant claimed that based on his applications, he was admitted to bail on various conditions by the Federal High Court to enable him prepare for his defence and that he subsequently met all the bail conditions.
The ex-NSA also claimed that he was thereafter taken to two FCT High Courts with separate charges on money laundering, conspiracy, and breach of trust and that on the strength of his application, justices Hussein Baba Yusuf and Peter Affem in their separate decisions, admitted him to bail in compliance with the law to enable him have adequate preparation for his defence in the criminal charges against him.
The appellant further claimed that on December 29, 2015, at the Kuje Prisons and shortly after perfecting the third bail conditions, the operatives of DSS swooped on him and abducted him to their custody without fresh charges thereby disobeying the court orders on the bail matter.
He further claimed that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court in a landmark judgment delivered by Justice Friday Chijoke Nwoke ordered his immediate release since 2016 in a suit for enforcement of fundamental rights he instituted against the federal government and that up till now, the decision of the regional court had not been obeyed.
Dasuki therefore prayed the apex court for an order compelling the respondents to obey all orders in respect of his bail to enable him have unfettered access to his legal team for the purpose of defending himself in the criminal charges slammed against him.
But the respondents in their brief of argument settled by Jacobs, maintained that all orders in respect of the bail granted the appellant by the three High Courts have been obeyed at the point of his release at Kuje Prisons after perfecting the bail conditions on December 29, 2015, he prayed the court to dismiss the claim of the appellant, adding that all orders on the bail issue have been legally obeyed by the respondent.
The apex court is expected to determine the issue one way or the other on January 25, 2018..