Monday, January 17, 2022

Again, Court Grants Ex-National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki Bail

Read below the PREMIUM TIMES report:

The Court of Appeal has again granted bail to a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The court also ordered the federal government to pay Mr Dasuki N5 million for holding him against the provisions of section 35 (6) of the constitution which gives every Nigerian the right to free movement.

Mr Dasuki has been held by security operatives since December 2015 when he was arrested on allegations he diverted $2.1 billion from funds meant for the war against terrorism.

Several court orders for the release of the former NSA had been flouted by the Nigerian government.

In a ruling delivered on July 13, copies of which were seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, Mr Dasuki’s previous bail condition of N100 million to be paid cash by two sureties was set aside by the Court of Appeal and replaced with a bond of N100 million.

Confirming the ruling to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Saturday, a lawyer with the Chambers of Mr Dasuki’s lead counsel, Ahmed Raji, said they filed the application at the Court of Appeal to challenge the excessive bail conditions, among other things.

“Yes it’s true. You know he had been granted bail several times by high courts and the bail conditions were excessive. Yet even after meeting the conditions, he was not released on bail,” said the lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, who had filed the application.

Mr Adedipe explained that “the previous bail of N100 million cash was paid but the government did not release Mr Dasuki.

He added that by the latest court order, “the N100 million noted by the court would be a bond, not a cash sum like the previous one.”

According to the ‘enrolled order’ which was seen by this newspaper, Mr Dasuki and his lawyers approached the appellate court on June 13.

The main aim of their application, according to the document, was to challenge the aforementioned court decision on July 2, 2018.

The decision had included a bail bond of N100 million, each from two sureties to be presented by Mr Dasuki.

One of the sureties was expected to be a federal government employee with not less than grade level 16 who must submit to the court his letter of appointment and the last letter of his promotion to pave way for the release of Mr Dasuki.

In the event of a private person standing as the surety in the July 2018 decision, the court held that the person must have landed property in Abuja and must submit before the court original of the property and also swear to the affidavit of means.

The judge said the surety must deposit N100 million with the registrar of the court and that the money would be returned to the surety at the end of the trial.

The judge also ordered that the surety must submit to the court his recent passport photograph and that his residential address must be verified by the official of the court as part of the bail condition.

Dissatisfied defense
Dissatisfied with the bail conditions, Mr Dasuki approached the appellate court which ordered that the July 2018 bail conditions be dropped. It then issued a new order as follows:

“Bail is granted to the applicant with the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be public servants not below the rank of grade level 16, with the federal or state government or any of its agencies and shall provide a valid document for his or her status to the registrar of the Court below.

“Each sureties must be registered within the jurisdiction of the FHC and their addresses verified by the registrar of the FHC.

“Each sureties shall produce two recent passport photographs and depose to affidavit of means.

“Each surety shall provide evidence of ownership of property within the FCT worth N100, 000.”

The court also prohibited further detention of Mr Dasuki when he honours future invites for questioning.

According to he court order, prosecutors or anyone investigating Mr Dasuki must question him during work hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The court however added that Mr Dasuki’s international passport must remain with the court registrar.

The court also ordered the FHC registrar to inform the federal government “once Mr Dasuki meets the bail conditions” and ensure that the accused is immediately released.

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