We Are Not Detaining Dasuki, El-Zakzaky In Defiance Of Court Orders – DSS

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that it is not detaining certain prominent Nigerians in defiance of court injunctions. 

This is following outcries about the alleged disobedience to Court Orders and illegal detention of some notable persons (particularly Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky) who are undergoing trials at the Courts.

In reaction to the claims, the DSS said the duo had appealed to the Courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres.

According to a communique from the Service, many of those who are within the DSS custody opted to remain there on their own volition, including El-Zakzaky who “opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the Court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India”.

READ ALSO: NECO Dismisses 70 Staff For Certificate Forgery

The DSS says it has continued to extend the best courtesies to the personalities since their stay in the Service’s custody.

“They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.

“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on a daily basis. There could not have been better treatments than these.

“Against the wrong perception that the Service held these persons in defiance to Court Orders, it is obvious, by the above explanations, that they rather chose to be looked after by the DSS. The reason for such a choice is not farfetched. It is simply because the Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards.

“It is not in the character of the DSS to join issues with persons or groups. Yet, silence should not be golden at a time like this. For its compliance with democratic norms, the Service owes the Nigerian public a duty to explain some of its activities. This is more so that these are oftentimes grossly misunderstood or misrepresented,” the DSS communique read in part.

The Service restated its commitment to a strong partnership with the media and other stakeholders including opinion leaders, stating that it is not averse to criticisms and therefore welcomes constructive engagement from all and sundry.

The DSS further stated that it will continue to conduct its operations within the bounds of the law and importantly be guided by that time tested axiom of Usman Dan Fodio that conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it.

Appeal Court Orders Dasuki Release From DSS Custody

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has declared the detention of former National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki retired since December 29, 2015, by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional and ordered his release on conditional bail.

The appellate court held that the DSS and its Director General acted outside their constitutional powers on the long period of the detention of a Nigerian citizen and imposed a fine of N5m on them to be paid to Colonel Dasuki as compensation for breach of his fundamental right.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3 – man panel of Justices of the court led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe- Wilson, the court held that the fundamental right of the ex NSA had been brazenly and brutally breached by the prolonged detention without trial in any fresh charge or investigation contrary to the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

In the lead judgment of Justice Akomolafe- Wilson, Dasuki was subsequently admitted to bail in the sum of N100m and two sureties in the like sum.

The two sureties shall be serving public servants, not below the status of level 16 officers in either state or public service of the Federal or any of its agencies and shall produce valid documents of his or her status to the registrar of the federal high court in Abuja.

Each surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the high court and other physical address must be verified by the court registrar and shall also produce two recent passport size photographs in addition to deposing to an affidavit of means.

READ ALSO: Atiku, PDP Continue Defence At Presidential Election Tribunal

The sureties each shall furnish evidence of ownership of property in the Federal Capital Territory worth N100m

The appeal court ordered that the DSS and its Director General should not detain Dasuki again and that whenever he is required on any allegation, it must be conducted within the working days and from 9am to 6pm for him to go home.

The court also ordered that the international passport of the ex NSA shall remain with the Deputy Chief Register of the high court for the time being.

A federal high court Judge justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had on July 2, 2018, admitted Dasuki to bail on conditions the NSA complained to be too harsh and stringent for him his family to perfect especially deposit of N100m to the high court registrar by his sureties before he can be released on bail.

The appeal court Justices set aside the harsh and stringent bail conditions of the judge for being outlandish and replaced them with the fresh ones.

The court commended the findings of facts by the judge that Dasuki had been dehumanized by his prolonged detention but disagreed with her on the refusal to award damages as compensation to assuage the injuries inflicted on the ex NSA.

“In my avowed view, the learned trial judge misconceived the prayer of the appellant and erroneously interpreted relief 4 for bail as an alternative prayer to relief 7 for damages”.

“This error occasioned a miscarriage of Justice by the failure to award damages which is a natural consequence for the finding that the fundamental right of the appellant has been grossly violated; upon which the court heavily deprecated the action of the 1st and 2ndRespondents.

“The established principle of law as amplified in a plethora of authorities is to the effect that award of damages must flow naturally once the court finds that the fundamental right of an individual has been breached with legal justification. The compensation is automatic, and ought to be granted, even when the aggrieved party does not pray for compensation.

“The judiciary is the main institution charged with the responsibility for the protection and enforcement of human rights. The fundamental rights intentionally entrenched in our constitution must, therefore, be jealously guarded and protected through practical pronouncements of reliefs granted by the courts so as to assuage citizens whose fundamental rights have been violated”.

“Under no guise or any circumstance whatsoever should the court shy away from the hallowed role. It is common knowledge that a threat to the right of one individual is a threat to the right of all. Democracy, which we value exceedingly in this country cannot be successful if respect for human rights and constitution is wobbling.

“The point I am putting across is that effective judicial protection of human rights is an indispensable component of order and good governance so as not to weaken the confidence of the people in seeking for judicial enforcement and remedies of their rights.

“I am conscious of the fact that the lower court heavily deprecated the act of the 1st and 2ndrespondents for the unlawful continued detention of the appellant especially were three courts, including the ECOWAS court, had impugned their action of the violation of the appellant right.

“The respondents neither cross-appealed nor filled a respondent’s notice on this issue. The decision of the trial court on the finding that the appellant’s fundamental rights were unlawfully breached is therefore extant. I will, therefore, say no more on this point.

“I am conscious of the fact that the issue of bail, its grant and the fixing of terms are entirely at the discretion of the court. Such discretion must, however, be exercised judicially and judiciously. Each case must be determined on its own peculiar circumstances.

“In the instant case, the appellant had previously been granted bail by three different courts. The conditions for the bail have been fulfilled and there is no incidence of breach of the conditions granted. The law is settled that the main function of bail is simply to ensure the presence of an accused person at his trial.

“The most important consideration in fixing the terms for bail, therefore, is whether the applicant will not escape justice. The law is also settled that stringent and severe conditions are granted only where there is the likelihood that the applicant might jump bail. Generally, it is against the spirit of the constitution to impose excessive and stringent conditions for bail, as that will be tantamount to a refusal of bail.

“In this case, the trial court made an order for the retention of the appellant’s international passport and also found that the likelihood of him jumping bail is “short-circuited,” where the likelihood of the appellant jumping bail is obviated, the bail conditions ought to have been on more liberal terms.

“In the circumstances of this case, especially having regard to the findings of the court as analyzed in the foregoing, the condition for the deposit of one hundred million naira by the appellant’s surety as a deposit for his bail is most unnecessary punitive, onerous and unjustifiable. There is no conceivable reason for such oppressive bail condition as granted by the trial court.

The appeal court, therefore, ordered that Dasuki must be allowed to go home on bail upon his perfection of the fresh bail conditions.

The judgment was endorsed by Justice Peter Olabisi Ige and Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim.

N19.4b Arms Fund: Court Fixes June 11 For Trial Of Dasuki, Others

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

 

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court sitting in the Maitama area of Abuja has fixed June 11 2019 for the trial to begin for a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, and Bashir Yuguda, in the alleged misappropriation of 19.4 billion naira arms funds.

The EFCC charged Dasuki and Yuguda alongside former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and his company, Dalhatu Investment Limited with 25 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune N19.4 billion.

Justice Baba-Yusuf adjourned the matter after Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to Mr. Bafarawa, briefed the court that the lead counsel to colonel Dauski’s mister Joesph Daudu, was bereaved.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Five Suspected Internet Fraudsters In Abuja

Justice Baba-Yusuf after listening said that the court agreed with the position of all the counsel that the death of a daughter-in-law was weighty enough to grant an adjournment.

“The matter is further adjourned until June 11 for trial’.

Earlier, the EFCC Counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that the case was scheduled for commencement of trial and they were in court with their witness.

Court Declines Dasuki’s Request For ‘Amicus Curiae’ In His Trial

Alleged Illegal Arms Possession: No Bail No Trial, Dasuki Tells Court
Sambo Dasuki (file)dasuki

 

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, has refused to grant the prayers of former National Security Adviser, Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, seeking the intervention of ‘friends of the Court’ (Amicus Curiae) In his trial.

An Amicus Curiae is a person who may not have been hired by a party in the case but is considered impartial to offer advice or information in a case.

Colonel Dasuki who says he is not satisfied with the manner his trial has gone in the last three years, particularly the refusal of the Federal Government (prosecution) to obey orders of courts regarding his bail, had applied for a leave of the Court to call Amicus Curiae to intervene.

But in a ruling on Tuesday, presiding Judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, declined Dasuki’s request on the grounds that the application did not meet with the conditions for the order of Amicus Curiae sought.

Consequently, he dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

Colonel Dasuki’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe informed the court that on January 9, 2019, he had filed a motion seeking leave of court to call for stakeholders in law to intervene in the matter.

“An unusual situation calls for an unusual condition,” he said.

Citing section 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015, Adedipe further explained that the Amicus Curiae would enable all to have a robust deliberation.

Eminent Senior Advocates of Nigeria to make up for the Amicus Curiae, according to him are Femi Falana, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu and Olisa Agbakoba.

Meanwhile, in a sister suit, Justice Baba-Yusuf has fixed February 27 for ruling in the application by Dasuki asking for an indefinite adjournment pending when the judgment of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 2018, is complied with.

Defendants in the suit are Dasuki, a former NNPC Executive Director, Aminu Baba-Kusa, and two firms — Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital.

They were arraigned on 32 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion.

EFCC Re-Arraigns Dasuki’s Former Military Aide

Alleged Money Laundering: Belgore Asks EFCC To Produce Vital Documents
File photo

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a military assistant to former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, along with six others on alleged money laundering charges.

Col. Nicholas Ashinze and the others are being re-arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja, three months after another judge of the court, Justice Gabriel Kolowale, opted out of the trial.

The men are now facing a 13-count charge before Justice Babatunde Quadiri.

At the re-arraignment, the seven defendants denied the charges brought against them by EFCC on behalf of the Federal Government.

They were, however, allowed to go home on the bail conditions earlier granted them by Justice Kolawole.

Justice Quadiri adjourned the definite hearing in the matter till October 4.

Justice Kolawole had withdrawn from the trial on March the 14th, citing what he described as lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the EFCC.

He subsequently returned the case file to the chief judge of the court for re-assignment.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Trial Till May

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

 

An Abuja High Court has adjourned the trial of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, in the alleged money laundering charges brought against him by the Federal Government till May 2 and 3, 2018.

This is in further compliance with the Supreme Court order.

A judge of the court, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf announced the new trial date in Abuja, on Thursday after being presented with the Supreme Court judgment of March 2, 2018, which ordered an accelerated hearing into the case.

However, to ensure effective management of the two separate charges against Dasuki and other defendants, the court fixed April 13 for a pre-trial conference to be attended by the seven senior lawyers involved in the case so as to enable them to take a common position on documents from the prosecution and those from the defendants.

During the conference which will be presided over by Justice Baba Yusuf, all documents that are not contentious will be admitted from the bar while the contentious ones are to be tendered during the trial to ensure speedy hearing of the cases which were filed in September 2015.

The Federal Government had filed charges against the former NSA Colonel Sambo Dasuki, Salisu Shuaib, a former Director of Finance in the office of the National Security Adviser, Aminu Baba-Kusa, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral hospital on alleged money-laundering and criminal breach of trust.

Although the charges were filed in 2015, a proper trial could not have commenced due to the failure of the Federal Government to allow the principal defendant in the matter.

Metuh’s Trial: Court Fixes Date To Review Attempts To Serve Jonathan Subpoena

Metuh

The Federal High Court has fixed a new date to review attempts to serve former President Goodluck Jonathan subpoena, in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Metuh is currently being tried for allegedly fraudulently receiving the sum of N400million from the office of the National Security Adviser without any justification and spending the same on the party and personal affairs.

It will be recalled that in the course of the trial, Former President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to compel Metuh, to pay the sum of N1billion to cover his travel expenses to appear as a defence witness in Metuh’s trial. Metuh in response had told the court that he cannot afford the sum of N1 billion to give former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear as his defence in court.

Also, during the trial, the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has told the Federal High Court in Abuja, that he could no longer remember the details of his dealings with Metuh, in 2014 and that he cannot recall if the sum of N400 million was paid to Metuh.

During the continuation of the trial today, November 3, the case is adjourned to December 4th, 5th and 6th, allow the Defence Counsel review the report of attempts to serve former President Goodluck Jonathan with the summons of the court.

Metuh’s Trial: Court Strikes Out Jonathan’s Application Against Subpoena

The Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out the applications by former President Goodluck Jonathan against the subpoenas ordering him to appear to testify in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang said having considered all documents and arguments filed, it is in his humble view that he lacks jurisdiction to entertain the application filed by Jonathan’s counsel, Mr Mike Ozehkome.

READ ALSO: I Don’ Have N1billion To Give Jonathan, Metuh Tells Court

Justice Abang said it is not in dispute that the former President has not been served and unless he is served and the proof of service filed in the court.

He added that he has no powers making a declaratory or enforceable order on the suit, adding that the court will not want to work in vain.

He added that the Former President cannot rely on media publication that the subpoena is vague because it is hearsay evidence which is not relevant to the court.

The application was also struck out for want of jurisdiction.

The same Federal High Court has also ordered detained former National Security Adviser, Dasuki to appear and testify in defence of Metuh. Justice Okon Abang said the former NSA will take the stand and testify because by the court’s action it is only obeying the ruling of the appeal court which ordered it to make an order of subpoena to the DSS for the former NSA to testify.

‘You Must Testify,’ Court Tells Dasuki

Col. Dasuki To Take Fresh Plea In January

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki to appear and testify in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.

Justice Okon Abang said the former NSA will take the stand and testify because by the court’s action it is only obeying the ruling of the appeal court which ordered it to make an order of subpoena to the DSS for the former NSA to testify.

READ ALSO: DSS Produces Dasuki In Court For Metuh’s Trial

He said granting the application will go against the decision of the apellate court and because he is not a party to the suit, he cannot make application for an adjournment.

The justice of the case he says demands that the court dismiss the application for lacking in merit.

Justice Abang, after dismissing the application, ordered Dasuki to enter the witness box and testify.

It will be recalled that the DSS earlier today, November 1, produced Dasuki, in court in compliance with an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, that the ex-NSA should appear as a witness in the ongoing trial of Metuh.

I Cannot Recall My Dealings With Metuh, Dasuki Tells Court

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

The detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki has told the Federal High Court in Abuja, that he could no long remember the details of his dealings with the former National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in 2014.

During the continuation of Metuh’s trial in court, today, November 1, and when asked if he had any dealing with Metuh or his company, Dasuki said he cannot recall if he had any dealings with them from his memory.

He said, “if I had any dealings as it relates to this case. It is not possible that without references to my record I can say I had any dealings with them.”

When asked if he knows the functions of the National Security Adviser, Dasuki said it is public knowledge that he is essentially a principal staff officer in the office of the president.

He was then asked why he is in court.

Dasuki said he is in court to answer a subpoena even though he has not benefitted from other court rulings.

The court then asked Dasuki to explain why Chief Metuh and his company are being charged for receiving money from his office as NSA.

Dasuki said it will be difficult to give any details on the issue of monies paid to Olisa Metuh and his company without references to his records.

“Three years is a long time to recall such. I cannot answer questions on the charges without consulting my records,” Dasuki said.

He was then asked to tell the court when he will have access to his records.

The former NSA said, as soon as the authorities decide to obey four subsisting orders for bail in his favour and one ECOWAS court ruling and release him from the ‘hole’ he is in, that is when he will be able to give a timeline.

“But as long as I am in detention the answer is I don’t know,” Dasuki said.

When asked If he is making efforts to enforce the orders. He said he has processes in court and maybe by the time the case gets to the Supreme Court and it is in his favour those in charge today will obey.

He was then asked to confirm if his appeal at the supreme court is on the 25th of January 2018.

Dasuki said ‘Yes.’

The counsel to Metuh in his application to the court said he has a witness who is willing to testify but after taking introductory questions, he is unable to answer questions with regards to specific actions of his when he was NSA.

“My witness insists that he has to refresh his memory and look at his document before he can give correct answers to questions been asked,” he said.

He added that Dasuki’s position is justifiable, because even the registrar of the court warned him against giving any false witness.

DSS Produces Dasuki In Court For Metuh’s Trial

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

The Department of State Services (DSS) has finally produced the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in court.

This is in compliance with an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, that the ex-NSA should appear as a witness in the ongoing trial of a former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh.

Dasuki was produced by DSS operatives ahead of the Wednesday’s proceedings.

He, is however yet to take the stand and this will be dependent on whether the court rules in favour of or against his motion seeking for a stay of proceedings pending his appeal before the appellate court.

 

The Federal Government is however opposed to the application for stay. On the grounds that the success or failure of the application lies on the interpretation of Section 305 of the administration of criminal justice act. The section says two conditions must be satisfy for the application to scale. A question bothering on the computer sitting must have arisen before the case can be referred to the appeal court and that there must be a refrences to a party to the case. But the application is by someone who is not a party to the suit.

Meanwhile, counsel to President Goodluck Jonathan has moved an  application seeking for the court to set aside the order of subpoena.

According to Mr Mike Ozohkome, the application  is predicated on eight grounds and two additional grounds for the  alternative order he is seeking.

According to him the order is basically to set aside the order of subpoena for President Goodluck Jonathan.

He adds “We are saying the evidence sought to be extracted from him will amount to invasion of his personal right to privacy and family life provided by section 37 of the 1999 constitution and that notwithstanding the provision of 175 which makes him a competent witness because he is no longer a sitting President.

“Section 183 of the same act is applicable here which provides that no one is bound to answer any question of it will open such a person to any criminal charge, or forfeiture against him or his wife.

“We have shown in our affidavit the series of attempt and embarrassment made on him and his wife since he left office by freezing his wife’s accounts in many cases across Nigeria.

“The subpoena is vague and applied for on grounds we consider to be frivolous.”

Metuh Demands Arrest Of DSS DG Over Dasuki’s Absence In Court

Mr Metuh and Director-General of the DSS, Mr Lawan Daura

The former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, Mr Olisa Metuh, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to order the arrest of the Director-General of the Department of State Security after the agency failed to produce Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) in court.

Mr Metuh’s counsel had made the request on Tuesday at the resumption of his trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving N400m fraudulently from the office of National Security Adviser and on charges involving cash transaction involving $2m.

The request came after the prosecutor, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, informed the court that even though the EFCC wrote to the DSS asking it to produce the former National Security Adviser in court, the DSS failed to do so.

Tahir said the legal adviser to the DSS told him that Dasuki refused to come to court on the grounds that his legal team advised him not to do so.

But Metuh’s counsel, however, countered the explanation by asking to court to issue a warrant of arrest against the DSS DG because the explanation by Tahir showed that the DSS lacked respect for the court and are playing games with it.
According to him, it is absurd that a detainee appears more powerful than the court.

Counsel to Dasuki, however, told the court that lacked the jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed by his client.

The former NSA had approached the court seeking a stay of the subpoena it issued for his appearance as a defence witness pending the determination of his application before the appeal court.

Dasuki’s counsel added that as a result of the motion it had filed before the court of appeal, he has filed a motion before the Federal High Court seeking to withdraw an earlier motion he filed seeking an order of stay of proceedings on all things related to the subpoena, pending the determination of the motion before the appeal court.

He also asked the court to expunge the submissions of the prosecutor that Colonel Dasuki refused to appear before the court. According to him, it is a misleading and baseless hearsay against his client.