Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who has been held in custody without any backing of court order, so as to allow the ex-NSA’s trial for alleged diversion of arms fund to go on smoothly.
He said in a statement on Sunday that this had become necessary in view of the ban by the United States of America on sale of arms to Nigeria over alleged continued violation of human rights under the Buhari Administration.
Falana said though, the basis for ban on sale of arms by the US could be queried, the President should stop the violation of people’s rights and also release all political detainees. He said government should honour the order of ECOWAS Court ordering the release of the former NSA.
But the Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that the order made by ECOWAS Court should however not be viewed as exonerating Dasuki of charges preferred against him.
Falana said, “With respect to the substantive relief, the ECOWAS Court held that the detention of Col. Dasuki without a court order could not be justified under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“Consequently, the court ordered the release of the applicant and payment of N15m damages to him as reparation for the infringement of his human rights.
“In reporting the judgment of the ECOWAS Court the media conveyed the impression that that the federal government has been ordered to release the plaintiff unconditionally from further detention.
“Contrary to such misleading impression the ECOWAS Court has not discharged and acquitted Col. Dasuki in respect of the criminal charges pending against him in the Nigerian courts. All that the court said was that the suspect be allowed to enjoy his human right to liberty within the context of the bail granted him by the trial courts.
“In particular, the Federal Government was berated for treating the orders of its own courts with contempt.”