Two Years of Unlawful Detention: A Memo to Sambo Dasuki



Yushau A. Shuaib

Dear Sambo Dasuki,

It was exactly two years ago, in the morning of December 1, 2015, when we chatted on the phone over the security operatives that had invaded your Asokoro residence and later whisked you away as the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA). I was then in Maiduguri on an assignment.

Since that day, you have remained in detention even after being granted bail by at least four separate high court judges. They are Justice Adetokunbo Ademola and Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, as well as Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Courts. They had considered the merit of your applications and granted you bail. The ECOWAS Court of Justice too had ordered for your immediate release with compensation of N15 million for your unlawful and illegal detention without legal warrant or court orders.

From all the court proceedings so far, none of the allegations against you is treasonable, while the allegations of misappropriation of funds can only be proven in the court on whether the expenditures went through the due process of official authorisation. The charge of illegal possession of firearms, by the discovery of weapons in your residence, less than 24 hours after you left office and at a time you had military and security bodyguards, is to say the least, laughable and can only be interpreted as a witch hunt.

While you have never stated your side of the story in court or anywhere else since your arrest and detention two years ago, there have been so many accusations and complete falsehood against you through media trials. Some baseless documents were leaked without attaching originating memos and approving authorities, among others. It is pathetically appalling that your image has been tarnished through sponsored and misguided media trials. It is unfortunate that many Nigerian are not aware of your antecedents when you had proven yourself as a man of integrity during your tenure as ADC to President Ibrahim Babangida as well as Managing Director of the Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). In both offices, you left honourably and on principle to protect your reputation.

While your traducers would rather taint your image by making references to the alleged misappropriation of funds during your tenure as NSA, they tirelessly worked to suppress the apparent success stories of the war against terrorism campaign during your tenure. They don’t want Nigerians to know that during your tenure as NSA to President Goodluck Jonathan, the brave Nigerian troops successfully liberated and recovered over two dozens big towns from Boko Haram. Those towns included Abadam, Askira, Baga, Bama, Bara, Buni Yadi, Damboa, Dikwa, Gamboru-Ngala, Goniri, Gujba, Gulag, Gulani, Gwoza, Hong, Kala Balge, Konduga, Kukawa, Marte, Madagali, Michika, Monguno, Mubi and Vimtim, among others.

Though some may be forgetful to realise that during your tenure as NSA, Nigeria spearheaded the formation of the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) where you sought the co-operation of reluctant neighbouring countries to join in the fight against terrorism. The taskforce has been sustained, just as other initiatives and legacies you introduced and left behind in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

While I won’t like to talk about your past relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, especially on the 1983 coup and others which I published in previous articles and my recent book “An Encounter with the Spymaster,” the toxic speculation and misleading information that you arrested Buhari in 1985 has been propagated as gospel truth. Even while you have denied the allegation, with principal actors including retired Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu publicly admitting their involvement, the rumour has been sustained for ulterior motives.

I cannot end this short memo without expressing my most profound appreciation for rescuing me from humiliation after I was unjustly retired by the government you served when the then Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had reported me to the presidency for punishment over my harmless opinion article in 2013.

Not only did you attempt to bring me back into the public service which I politely rejected, you nevertheless accepted my condition to serve as a consultant on crisis management to the same government. Though we recruited a large number of young Nigerian graduates in ensuring the success of the campaigns, presently the workforce has been reduced drastically due to lack of patronage from the system. We have nevertheless continued to sustain the services on a pro bono basis, especially for the military, security, intelligence and response agencies.

Meanwhile, the good news today is that Justice David Isele of National Industrial Court (NIC) has ordered my reinstatement into the public service and payment of all my salaries, allowances with interest using the prevailing bank interest rate within 30 days. I am awaiting the federal government’s obedience to that court order.

While I still nurse the fear that you may spend another year in unlawful detention as 2018 is around the corner, I must commend your courage and doggedness during our recent chat in the court. You have said for the umpteenth time that you have no ill feelings against your “good friends” who are currently on the other side and other “people” who cannot do anything in your case. You said: “In every challenge, every temptation and every situation one finds himself, there are lessons to be learnt and to be thankful to Almighty Allah.”

May your days in court offer you the opportunity you have craved for to clear your name from the malicious allegations and to enable you to provide concrete evidence of your stewardship as the National Security Adviser who ensured efficient inter-agency collaboration for national stability and national security.

As you have remained in detention in the last two years against all legal procedures, even when you lost your father, Sultan Dasuki, I pray you stay fortified believing that God’s time is the best.
Yours Sincerely,
Yushau Shuaib
Author of An Encounter with the Spymaster