Justice Peter Affen of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, has dismissed the application of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), to stop his trial pending his release by the federal government.
The judge held that Dasuki was unable to prove that he was being held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – the prosecutor – after an order granting him bail. He said the EFCC had not disobeyed the order of court because it did not have the accused person in custody.
On February 26, when the application was argued, Dasuki alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was behind his unlawful arrest and detention without trial. The former NSA, who spoke through his counsel, Joseph Daodu (SAN), claimed that Buhari initiated his detention despite the bail granted him by three different courts.
In an affidavit filed in support of his application, Dasuki claimed that the president betrayed his emotion during a chat with journalists in December when he told Nigerians that he and Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), might not be released because they would jump bail.
Dasuki also claimed he had been held incommunicado since his re-arrest. He, therefore, asked the judge to stop his trial until the federal government purged itself of contempt, and complied with its order granting him bail.
The defence counsel exhibited newspaper cuttings in which the president expressed disapproval to the bail granted his client by the court. Daodu countered the claim that Dasuki was being held by the Department of State Services (DSS), and not the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He said the claim did not hold water because the federal government was the complainant in the charges against Dasuki, and that both the DSS and the EFCC were agents of the government.
Opposing the application, counsel to the federal government, Rotimi Jacob argued that the charges against Dasuki were initiated by the EFCC and not the DSS. He said the EFCC did not disobey the order of the court granting Dasuki bail, but that the accused person was being held by another government agency. Jacob asked Affen to dismiss the application because the DSS, which is holding the accused person, was not a party to the charges against him in court.
The court upheld his argument, and dismissed the application. In February, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, a justice of the same court, also dismissed the application of Dasuki to stop his trial.