Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has called on the Nigerian government to obey last month’s order by the Court of the Economic Community of West African States declaring that Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, be granted bail.
In a statement on Monday, Mr. Falana said the government, having “loudly proclaimed” its commitment to the rule of law cannot afford to ignore the order of the ECOWAS Court.
“Indeed, as a leading member state of the ECOWAS, the Nigerian Government must continue to demonstrate leadership by example,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“More so, that it was federal government which persuaded the former military dictators in Niger Republic to release ex-President Mammoud Tandja from custody in line with the order of the ECOWAS Court. Therefore, President Buhari should direct the SSS to comply with the order of the ECOWAS Court by releasing Col. Dasuki (rtd) on bail without any further delay.”
The ECOWAS Court had, in October, declared as unlawful and arbitrary the arrest and detention of Mr. Dasuki.
The court also held that the further arrest of the former NSA chief by the government on November 4, after he was granted bail by a court, amounts to a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.
Mr. Dasuki, a retired colonel, is facing multiple trials for alleged diversion of $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase by the immediate past administration. He is also accused of illegal possession of firearms.
He approached the ECOWAS court after he was rearrested by operatives of the State Security Service shortly after meeting his bail conditions in November last year.
Mr. Dasuki has remained in the custody of the SSS since his arrest.
Mr. Falana said the inability of the Nigerian government to ban human rights violations was responsible for the decision of the US to reportedly ban the Buhari administration from purchasing war planes to prosecute the war on terror.
“A similar ban under the Jonathan administration prolonged the war on terror,” he said.
“While the ban may be questioned in view of the global fight against terrorism the federal government should release all political detainees from custody and stop the police and other security agencies from infringing on the human rights of the Nigerian people.”