Former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has told the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice sitting in Abuja that the Federal Government has no legal or moral justification for his continued incarceration.
Dasuki, who spoke through his counsel, Robert Emukperuo, on Wednesday while making his final address, predicated his stance on Sections 293-296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which outlines the procedure for keeping a suspect in detention for not more than two weeks.
He said: “To accentuate the illegality of the arrest and detention of the applicant, the ACJA 2015, S.293 to 296 thereof, set out the procedure for the detention of any person pending trial or investigation. And in summary, that procedure requires judicial intervention by a magistrate for it to be carried out and the maximum detention time-frame is two weeks.”
Emukperuo had earlier filed an application to amend the originating application by including additional reliefs, a request the court granted, ordering the defendant to respond, if any, within 15 days to the issues raised in the amendment.
He prayed the court to order the release of his client and as well order the government to pay N500 million as compensation to Dasuki.
He recalled how several courts had granted Dasuki bail and how President Muhammadu Buhari had stated in a media chat that the ex-NSA cannot just be released.
He said his client’s arrest and detention by the defendant is without any legal justification.
“The critical issue that needs to be resolved is whether there is any legal justification for the detention of the applicant by the defendant,” Emukperuo said, adding that the only justification in the amended statement of defence adduced by the defendant for detaining the applicant is the recourse to national security.
He added: “They have not adduced before this court any judicial procedure that they have relied on in incarcerating the applicant.
“They have equally not relayed to the court any domestic legislation whatsoever to justify the detention of the applicant.
“My lord, I submit that this is a classic case of arbitrary and illegal arrest.”
The counsel further submitted that the government has defied all known legal instruments or legislation by not following its own laws.
He said apart from its complete disdain for the laws of the land, government has also not followed judicial orders given by courts of competent jurisdiction.
Emukperuo said on the issue of being in possession of arms, Dasuki was granted bail on self-recognition and the Ministry of Justice did not oppose the application for bail, wondering why they had to still keep him in detention having not opposed the bail application if they knew he was a security risk.
“It is a spurious defence conceived in bad faith, and I urge the court to dismiss it,” he pleaded.
The defendant is expected to present his statement of defence on Thursday following which a date for judgment would be fixed.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Friday Nwoke, ordered the defendant to ensure that his two witnesses are in courton Thursday for oral evidence.