Law News
Dasuki’s re-arrest: EFCC didn’t disobey court, says judge

A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday ruled that its order granting bail to the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), did not mean that he could not be re-arrested.

Justice Husseini Baba, therefore, dismissed an application by Dasuki seeking an order prohibiting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from continuing to prosecute him on the charges of diversion of N32bn arms fund.

The ex-NSA had predicated his application on the allegation of Federal Government’s “brazen” disobedience to the orders of court granting him bail on December 18, 2015.

Dasuki was re-arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services on December 29, 2015, shortly after he met the bail conditions and was released by Kuje Prison.

He argued in his motion that since both the EFCC and the DSS were both agencies acting on behalf of the Federal Government, the court should halt his trial until the order granting him bail was complied with.

But ruling on Monday, Justice Yusuf held that contrary to Dasuki’s allegation, the EFCC was not in contempt of its order granting him (Dasuki) bail on December 18, 2015.

“At the end, it is my view that the application filed on behalf of the first defendant does not have any merit and I hold so. I therefore dismiss same,” the judge ruled.

The judge rejected the argument by Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), explaining that having been released by the prison authorities before the accused was arrested, the order of the court had been complied with.

He added that his order granting bail to the ex-NSA was not against his re-arrest and that the EFCC could not be blamed for the action of the Federal Government even when they were both Federal Government’s agencies.

He held, “From paragraphs 6 and 7 of affidavit in support of this application, it is clear that after the first defendant/applicant satisfied the terms in Exhibit ‘Dasuki 2’ he was released from Federal prisons on December 29, 2015 at this point the order of the court, as far as I am concerned, which was directed at the Comptroller of Prisons, was in my view complied with.

“If the EFCC re-arrested the first defendant thereafter, it makes, subject to the circumstances of such arrest, an interference with due administration of justice but it cannot be a disobedience to the order of the court to release the applicant on bail. The reason is because in making the order of bail in favour of the first defendant, this court did not make any order against a re-arrest.”

The judge held that since it had been confirmed that Dasuki was being held by the Department of State Services, which “is a stranger” in the case, the EFCC which is prosecuting Dasuki and his co-accused could not be said to have violated the bail order.

He ruled that the only option open to the former NSA was to file necessary suit in line with section 46 of the 1999 Constitution for the enforcement of his right to liberty.

After the Monday’s ruling, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, asked the judge to give a date for trial to commence, but Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to give a date long enough to enable the ex-NSA’s lawyer to “tackle the issue of the stranger.”

The judge subsequently adjourned till March 23 for trial.

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