Why Nigerian Government has not released Dasuki despite ECOWAS Court ruling – Justice Minister

Dasuki in court
FILE PHOTO: Former NSA Sambo Dasuki and others arraigned over misappropriation at the FCT High Court in Abuja

The Federal Government on Wednesday gave reason why it did not immediately comply with the judgement of an ECOWAS Court to release a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The court on Tuesday gave judgement directing the release of Mr. Dasuki.

On Wednesday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the government needs to study the content of the ruling before acting on it.

Mr. Dasuki has been detained since last year for allegedly mismanaging billions of dollars meant for purchase of arms as well as for illegal possession of arms.

Salihu Isah, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Mr. Malami, gave PREMIUM TIMES the government’s stance in a telephone interview on Wednesday morning.

He said the government needed to fully understand the content of the court’s proceedings and judgement before reacting.

“We cannot just react. We will first of all study the judgement to understand its content before taking a stand,” he said.


ecowas-300x225The ECOWAS Court ordered the release of Mr. Dasuki on Tuesday, describing his arrest and continued detention as unlawful and arbitrary.

The three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Friday Nwoke, said the search conducted at Mr. Dasuki’s residence without a warrant was illegal and against Nigerian laws.

Although the court said it would not go into the details of whether or not Mr. Dasuki’s alleged possession of arms were criminal, it added that an owner was entitled to enjoyment of its property.

The court said the manner of arrest and detention of Mr. Dasuki were contrary to Article Six of the African Charter on Human Rights and Article 9 (1) of the international order on civil and political rights.

“Liberty is the rule and detention is the exception,” said Mr. Nwoke, who added that the deprivation of Mr. Dasuki’s liberty should only be considered if he is convicted by a court of law.

The Court ordered the Federal Government to pay N15 million as damages to Mr. Dasuki.

With the stance of the chief law officer of the Nigerian government, Mr. Dasuki may still spend more time in jail.


The federal government had at three different times failed to obey court orders granting Mr. Dasuki bail in the past.

The former NSA; a former Minister for State of Finance, Bashir Yuguda; former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; ‎and three others were granted bail on December 21 by the Federal Capital Territory High Court in the sum of N250 million each and two sureties in like sum. high-court-lagos

They were taken to court on a 22-count charge for alleged diversion of funds, misappropriation and breach of trust to the tune of N19.4 billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Despite fulfilling the conditions for his bail set by Justice Peter Affe​n​, the State Security Service, refused to release Mr. Dasuki.

Before that bail, the former NSA was granted bail on two other occasions.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court had on November 3 granted bail to Mr. Dasuki, who was charged for unlawful possession of firearms.

The SSS however scuttle​d​ the bail the following day as its operative​s​ continued to lay siege on ​Mr. Dasuki’s​ residence in the Asokoro District of Abuja ​where he was kept under house arrest.

The service had claimed at the time that the former NSA was under investigation for another offence.

Mr. Dasuki was subsequently arraigned ​before​ an Abuja High Court for alleged breach of trust. Although the court granted him bail, the security outfit ignored it.​


Legal experts spoke with PREMIUM TIMES explaining the effects of obedience or disobedience of the orders by government on Nigeria’s image.

According to Samson Ameh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the ECOWAS Court judgement is more like a policy, which is not enforceable.

“ECOWAS court can entertain cases, but it has no infrastructures to enforce its judgements. It is the country from where the case came from that it would rely upon to enforce the said judgement,” the lawyer said.

“Any country has the right to enforce or fail to enforce the judgement. There are no side effects legally, except that the image of the country may be lowered. It is like a moral, rather than a legal responsibility,” he added

Another Senior Advocate, Akinolu Kehinde, added that the ECOWAS court had no powers to compel enforcement of its judgements.

“ECOWAS court does not have exit powers; it does not have the lead to compel enforcement of its judgements,” he said.

He however added that Nigeria has a lot to lose if it fails to obey the said judgement.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the protocol setting up that court and a key member of ECOWAS, so it will not be nice if this country fails to obey its judgements,” he said.


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  • George

    Whether the Daura president obey the court or not is irrelevant but the court has said their own and the world is watching.

    The fear of Dasuki is 2019 elections.

    • Rommel

      I never knew there were still Nigerians who are fixated only on election cycles,get it dude,PDP has lost power and it will be ages before any sane Nigerian will consider them again

      • Ugo

        You got it totally wrong. PDP still better than APC and if Nigerians have no other party to vote for in 2019 election definitely they will choose PDP to come back never again APC

        • Emeka

          I think you are sick in the head, and need urgent medical attention before your troubles go from bad to worse…

    • NwaIgbo

      That is if Dasuki is out by 2019, keep dreaming.

    • joe

      The very fact that some people are talking about “fear of Dasuki” and not talking about the devastating effects of the actions of the likes of Dasuki, shows how subhuman people have become in our country!

    • Sadiq Garba

      But where was Dasuki in 2015?

  • Ayinde

    This president is rather a mistake. He is un-stateman like, crude vindictive and lacks the so called integrity he is laying claim to. This is a person that before he became President never deem it fit to attend the council Of states meeting, on assuming power asset that he would only give priority consideration to area that gave the majority votes to the detriment of those that did not vote for him, besides he has already considered Dasuki guilty before trial, hence taking it out on him.
    In short there are several comments and action that are obviously NOT STATESMANLY about the president. This make him not fit for the position he currently occupies.

    Check out the credentials of people like Obasanjo, Gowon and Mandela with such a large heart and not a narrow and vindictive mind set that is not expected of a President or so called president that he is .

    • haba mallam

      you’re a monkey, your brain is the size of a peanut.

      • Ayinde

        Congratulations . The Man with the brain the size of a coconut, but filled with nothing hence your VIOLENT and BARBARIC reasoning. Pity you.

    • NwaIgbo

      Where was the statesmanship of Jona and his corruption infested goons when Nigeria was hopelessly destroyed.

      • Ayinde

        Check it out and read virtually all his speech but in and out of Office, then you’ll know.

    • cant agree until we know which one he is.

  • Burning Spear

    Over 30 years ago–late Pa Ajasin was freed by a competent court of Law–in Nigeria—–twice-over the fake allegations manufactured by Bingo Fulani Buhari—–against him and Awo—-Buhari refused to allow him go home a free–man———————-Ambrose Ali late governor of Bendel state—was falsely accused of owning several properties and illegally acquiring government lands—in Edo state—————–Buhari put him in prison until he went blind—-It was only after his death that Nigerians got to know that the man had only one undeveloped plot of land to his name——by which time it was too late. Tai Solarin was locked up by this same Fulani monster——-Buhari—and refused his asthma medication even with appeals from the British government————————–Yet docile Nigerians from the Yoruba south west led by Tunde Bakare– Soyinka ati Obj lured Nigerians into imposing such a luciferic baboon on us—————Aware Bingo Buhari have never had any respect for the rule of law as a 419 Fulani General——–from Mali—The Lord had warned us even in the Bible to beware of those spirits that come to us with the change gospel—————-Nigerian have not even seen suffering——-yet!——Let them-wait until next year then would they know khaki no be leather——–Buhari can use Jonathan as an excuse——to steal the Nation blind———But final judgement belongs to the Almighty God–who knows why he installed Buhari as president via the USA–to teach the doubting Thomas-es in our midst a lesson–maybe–who knows————————But Separation is the only way out–not the rule of the Fulanis—again——Biko!

    • Doffi Atoshi

      See the dog in you?!

    • NwaIgbo

      Nonsense post. No about of naming calling will bring back the many souls lost because of defense budget Dasuki pocketed and shared with fellow PDP gangsters. Dasuki ran to London to postpone the election hoping PDP rigging machine will succeed in doing what they do best- stealing. They failed as Sheriff Buhari stepping in to stop the yam eating vampires. 2019 or after, forget it PDP, not in our life time for it will take another 32 years to clean up the hell fire People’s Destruction Party drove Nigeria into for 16 years. Nba!

    • didn’t read it…because your back 3 or more decades..lol

  • smart G

    If Dasuki stole as alleged, which bank or banks are holding the money? Which mansion or resort is his property? It is very easy to accuse someone of corruption even when the person is a pauper.
    If other people misapppropiated money meant for arms on why not go after them like the ex service chiefs.
    Election 2015 was touted to be the last straw to break Nigeria, not even Boko Haram,how come nobody died? What did the NSA do to make it peaceful? What did it cost him?
    Many questions we are not asking but to believe every piece of news as whole truth.

    • joe

      what are you trying to say? :)))

      • what are any of them trying to say?? lol

  • paul irumundomon

    He is one of many, Buhari fought to win an election, no matter the cost, so he can pay all his enemies, what pleases him. Buhari over threw, a democratically elected president, that man forgave buhari, so if a military government, that is not elected is driven out, there is no laws broken.

  • Ayobanna

    From the opinion of legal minds around, the ECOWA Court judgement is hard to enforce in Nigeria going by the so-called pedigree of the Nigerian govt. The comment of the Attorney General of the Federation is an implicit direction where the mind of the Nigerian State resides. It’s good people like Dasuki, though yet guilty, have a taste of the crude Nigeria they have built for us. It’s unimaginable and pathetic how Nigerian leaders accumulate and divert funds meant for the public use, what they intend to do with these monies is still strange to some of us. On the other hand Buhari should simple act in a way that could reassure Nigerians of progression in the direction of rule of law. Does it really have to be this way where ECOWA Court ridicules our legal system by their judgement on avoidable issues happening in Nigeria. For God’s sake, we can’t be this way and road all the time. Dasuki and all others claiming infringement on their human rights should be frontally subjected to court processes and given all allowances to defend themselves. It’s only a small time and things will move to next level and we must live life with all caution as if no tomorrow. If the Federal Attorney General is reading this he must realize that he has a duty to advise our leaders with honesty as yet again another AGF will be there and he will be no more so applies to all others. Yesterday was Dazieni tomorrow is another and my worry is that the same fate catches up with all of them. Those that stole money should kindly return them and move on with their lives. What a shame of a country of retrogressive leaders.

    • Lawrence Aje

      Much as I agreed with some of your thought here I think you misrepresented the fact on that of Nigerian courts being ridiculed by ecowas court. Rather than being ridiculed, Nigerian courts were vindicated by the ecowas ruling. Please check the facts. Courts had pronounced that Dasuki be released ecowas ruling only strengthensure that position. It is the executive that is being ridiculed here not the court

    • Uzoma John

      We the good citizens of Nigeria would prefer Dasuki remain in custody. If that’s the Fed Govt want, that’s what we the good people of Nigeria want. You can relocate to ECOWAS if our decision does not go down well with you.

    • blueeyedkitten

      not a bad comment.

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    Dasuki,if you think you will be released,you must believe the lives of those people bokoharam has claimed will be returned to them. If you think Nigeria will obey the toothless bull dog judgement delivered by the ECOWAS court,it is like telling America to obey a UN order on Libya,Iraq,Syria or Afghanistan. Have you forgotten that the major financier of the ECOWAS as a body is Nigeria,just like the US shoulder most UN responsibilities. So it is laughable when some people are jumping for joy as though what Dasuki has done was good. If he likes let him go to icj or the UN floor. Nigeria is a sovereign state that can choose what to obey or disobey and can even opt out of the ECOWAS court membership if she so whishes and let’s see who will fund them.mtcheeeeeeeeeew, ECOWAS ko escobas ni.

    • No one believes anything written by your group. I guess were supposed to figure out all the rest including whishes?

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen


  • blueeyedkitten

    i’m sure his lawyers knew this all the while, yet they hoodwinked him into taken his case ecowas. shegu barayi!
    this dasuki is a mumu sef. he should have known that this lawyers are only interested in his money.
    our lawyers are a major concern in this fight against corruption.

  • musa aliero

    I believe the Nigerian government should comply with the orders of 4 courts so far that have granted him bail. Giving him bail doesn’t mean he is innocent or he won’t be eventually tried and if found guilty jailed or even hanged! The government must uphold and protect the laws of the land and hold the constitution sacrosanct! Disobeying courts is setting a bad precedence in the polity and harming the overall essence of a democracy! They can release him while seizing his passport and even allow him move freely then put him under security watch! That way he can’t run or temper with the cause of justice, and Nigeria would win in the end while obeying court orders legally.

    • WOW! Now it’s 4 courts!!! Got documents on that?

  • Arabakpura

    ECOWAS court is fishing in muddy water!

  • Decimator

    No matter
    where this issue drags to, the simple fact that the president of a
    democratic country could go public to basically pronounce a judgment on a case
    that has not been heard in any court of competent jurisdiction, has made it
    impossible for any neutral mind who just wants to see justice done, to trust
    their sincerity in making their claims.

    Infact a government that possesses all the overwhelming evidences in this world against
    Dasuki as they claimed, should never have hesitated or rather be even afraid as
    it now shows, of taking those evidences to court and even televising the trial
    so that everybody could see with them. The biggest ridicule is even having the
    guts to ask a court of competent Jurisdiction for a secret trial and masking of
    witnesses in such an important case as they claimed. Something is definitely
    wrong here and no amount of disobedience of court orders or judgements can help
    to hide it, Sorry

    • i havent seen any court cases, so nt on that.

  • paul irumundomon

    They have to study the content of the judgement, before complying, if they must obey the court. Obj has to use another English, to explain to Nigerians, what the judge said. Nigeria.

  • Sir Demo

    If I am one of the looters, with prison staring me in the face, I will do everything possible to eliminate the prosecution prime witness. A lot of people GEJ, Diezani, Okonjo, Dame, military chiefs etc will want Dasuki DEAD! He will be killed within days if release.

    • Really

      Now it is getting ever more childish, your witness should be in detention while your culprits that are not even being prosecuted till date should be free.Sorry

    • eliminate the credible and paid staff…nah, bring it to court. a trial is preferred!

  • natb

    I understand the argument that disobeying court orders gives bad image to the country. How about the loot at the expense of human lives? Isn’t that more disgracing to a country than just going against court orders? They want him released so they can sell asylum to him once he escapes.

    • that could apply to anyone.. whos’ the looter and whos dasuki, also who wants to sell asylum..doesnt make sense

  • wheres the proof on these court orders? how come no one is able to proof they exist?