By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday admitted former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to bail in the sum of N200 million and two sureties in like sum.
Justice Ojukwu granted the bail while delivering judgment in a fundamental rights suit brought against the federal government.
Before now, Dasuki had been granted bail by Justices Ademola Adeniyi (rtd), Ahmed Mohammed, Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Peter Affen in various criminal charges both at the Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
However, delivering judgment on the fundamental rights suit Monday, the judge who noted that the applicant’s motion is not connected to the earlier matters in which he had been granted bail, held that Dasuki’s continued detention since 2015 by agents of the federal government is a gross violation of his fundamental rights and consequently ordered that he be released on bail.
The sureties, the court held, must either be civil servants not below grade level 16 or private citizens and are to deposit the sum of N100 million with the registrar of the court which would be returned at the end of the trial.
For the civil servant, the court ordered that a letter of appointment and letter of last promotion be submitted to the court for verification.
In the event that the surety is a private citizen, he must own landed property in Abuja metropolis and produce the original copies of the property.
In addition, he must produce evidence of tax payment from 2015, 2016 and 2017.
While the court ordered that the sureties submit copies of their passport photographs to the court, it added that their residential addresses must also be submitted to the court.
The court while frowning on the continued detention of the former NSA by the federal government, held that Dasuki’s detention is an aberration of the rule of law and the constitution, adding that no nation can aspire to greatness when the rule of law is flagrantly disobeyed.
Justice Ojukwu therefore ordered that Dasuki be released immediately the terms of his bail are fulfilled.
The judge dismissed the claims by the federal government that Dasuki constituted security risk to the nation, adding that the accusation of money laundering brought against the former NSA has nothing to do with the threat to the nation.
The judge also rejected the claim by government that Dasuki was been held because of the arms and ammunition allegedly found in his house in 2015, adding that the federal government has no justification for his continued detention since the alleged arms were said to have been recovered and criminal charges instituted against him.
Justice Ojukwu turned down the federal government’s request that Dasuki’s case be dismissed for abuse of court process by filing multiple actions.
The court held that in the instant case, the parties are different, adding that the government did not place material evidence before the court to establish that the former NSA engaged in forum shopping.
The court, in all, agreed that the fundamental rights of Dasuki has been grossly breached with his detention since 2015 without trial on any fresh allegation.
Justice Ojukwu agreed with the federal government that investigation on Dasuki has been completed but that in case of fresh investigation, such must be conducted during working days and that the plaintiff can only be invited and not detained under any circumstance.