Dasuki demands N15b damages, apology for alleged illegal detention
Former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has filed N15 billion suit against the Federal Government over his detention by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) without trial since December 2015.
Dasuki, in the suit before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, is seeking an order for his immediate release from the custody of the security agents, conditionally or unconditionally.
The suit instituted on his behalf by his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) and Ahmed Raji (SAN), was initiated pursuant to Order 11, Rule 1, 2 and 3 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rule 2009.
Dasuki is claiming that his fundamental right to freedom and dignity to life has been grossly violated by the Federal Government with his detention, and seeking a declaration that he is entitled to his rights to dignity, personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom of movement, private and family life and to acquire and own properties as provided in the 1999 Constitution.
The former NSA is praying the court for an order to compel the Federal Government to pay him N15 billion as compensation and general damages for alleged illegal detention and incarceration.
Dasuki is also praying the court to compel the defendants, for allegedly violating his rights, to jointly and severally tender a public apology to him to be published in two national dailies.
In a 43-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon, Dasuki avers that on July 16, 2015, agents of the Federal Government unlawfully invaded his houses in Abuja and Sokoto and that during the invasion, his properties, mainly cars and monies, were unlawfully carted away.
In the affidavit deposed to by one of his sons, Abubakar Dasuki, the applicant claimed that in protest against the alleged unlawful invasion and detention, he instituted an action at a Federal High Court for the enforcement of his rights.
The affidavit states that the Federal Government, upon receipt of the court process, quickly charged him to court in September 2015 and that he was granted bail by the court.
Dasuki avers that upon being granted bail, he applied for court permission to travel abroad for medical attention. The court, he stated, granted his request on November 3, 2015. The following day, however, security operatives, in defiance of the court permission, laid siege to his house and disallowed the trip.
He also claimed that in spite of his persuasions and life-threatening ailment, his house was kept under the siege during which he was not allowed to move out or receive visitors and any member of his family.
Dasuki states that he was on December 1, 2015, arrested by DSS operatives and was, on the following day, moved into the custody of the EFCC from where he was on December 13 arraigned in an Abuja High Court in the charge FCT/HC/CR/43/2015 where he was also admitted to bail. The applicant claims that he was on December 15, 2015 arraigned in a third court with the charge FCT/HC/CR/42/2016 where he was also granted bail.
Upon his release on bail at Kuje prison on December 29, 2015, Dasuki avers that he was re-arrested by the operatives of the DSS and had since been kept in solitary confinement, impairing his ability to provide for his family.
The affidavit indicates that the concern and apprehension of Dasuki’s family became compounded when President Muhammadu Buhari, in his maiden Presidential media chat of December 30, 2015, allegedly said that Dasuki would not be released because of the weight of charges against him and that he might jump bail.
The applicant claims that unless the court comes to his rescue by protecting him and order his immediate release, his right to life, human dignity, personal liberty, privacy, family life, freedom of movement and right to own properties already impaired and violated by the defendants, they will continue to be impaired and put in jeopardy.
Defendants in the court action are the DSS, National Security Adviser (NSA), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Hearing in the matter has been slated before Justice Peter Kekemekun after the yearly vacation of the High Court of the FCT.