Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser secured a favourable ruling on Monday, at the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Court – where he’s challenging his arrest and detention without trial since December 2015.
In spite of the federal government’s objection, the ECOWAS court ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the fundamental rights suit – as enshrined in the provisions of the Nigerian 1999 constitution and African Charter on fundamental rights of persons.
Justice Friday Chijoke Nwoke, dismissed the objection of the government against Dusuki suit on the ground that the objection was ‘misconceived, frivolous and lack merit’.
Justice Nwoke held that the claim of government that Dasuki’s case emanated from his ongoing trial, was inappropriate and cannot hold water since the relief sought by Dasuki has nothing to do with his trial at the domestic courts of Nigeria.
“In our opinion, what Dasuki brought before us as a case is an issue for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty and own property and against unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and unlawful seizure of properties without any court order or warrant of arrest.”
“From the totality of the issues brought before this court, it is clear and there is no ambiguity that the applicant is seeking enforcement of his right to freedom and not on the issue of his trail for any alleged offence before any Nigerian court.”
“Therefore, the objection of the government and the request that the case of the applicant in this matter be struck out on the ground of emanating from any criminal matter has no basis, the claims and the request lack merit and hereby dismissed and we declare that the application of Dasuki is admissible to this court.”
The ECOWAS court further stated that it was not out to decide the issue of whether the applicant is guilty of the charges against him in the Nigerian courts or not but simply to rule whether his fundamental rights to liberty had been abused – having been granted bail and rearrested since last year and kept in an unknown place.
Hearing in the matter has been fixed for May 17 and 18.