Detention: Dasuki files N15bn suit against FG

•Demands release, public apology

Detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd) has dragged the Federal Government before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  Abuja, challenging his detention in the custody of the Department of the State Security (DSS) since December, 2015 without trial.

In the fresh suit, Dasuki wants the court to order his immediate release from the custody of the Federal Government security agents.

In the suit No:, FCT/HC/ABJ/CV/2005/2016, filed on his behalf by his  counsel, Messrs Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Dasuki claimed that his fundamental right to freedom of liberty and dignity to life had been grossly violated by the Federal Government with his detention.

The former NSA, in the suit, asks the court for an order compelling the Federal Government to pay him N15 billion as general damages and compensation for his alleged illegal detention and incarceration in violation of his rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

He also prayed the court to compel the defendants in the suit to jointly and severally tender a public apology to him to be published in two national dailies for the violation of his rights.

Defendants in the suit are the DSS, NSA, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and the Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Besides, Dasuki sought court declaration that he was entitled to his rights to dignity of human person, personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom of movement, private and family life and to acquire and own properties as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

He also wants the court to declare that his arrest and continuous detention since December 29, 2015 in the custody of the DSS and NSA, by officers of the Federal Government without allowing him access to his medical personnel, members of his family and without charging him to court within the time prescribed by law is wrongful, unlawful, un-constitutional and a violation of his right granted by the country’s constitution.

In a 43-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summon, the applicant claimed to be a retired army officer, decent with no criminal record, lawfully resident in Nigeria and had served the country in various capacities.

He averred that on July 16, 2015, the 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 unlawful invasion and detention, he instituted a court action at a federal high court for the enforcement of his right.

Upon receipt of the court process, the affidavit claimed that the Federal Government quickly charged him to court in charge No:  FHC/ABJ/CR/319/15 in September 2015 and that he was granted bail by the court.

Dasuki averred that upon his bail, he applied for court permission to travel abroad for medical attention and that the court granted him approval on November 3, 2015 but the following day, security operatives, in brazen defiance of the court permission, laid siege on his house and disallowed the trip.

He claimed that in spite of his life threatening ailment and persuasion, his house was kept under siege during which he was not allowed to move out or receive any member of his family and visitors.

Dasuki said on December 1 2015, DSS operatives arrested him and that the following day, he was moved to EFCC custody from where he was arraigned in an Abuja high court in the charge FCT/HC/CR/43/2015 on December 13 where he was also admitted to bail.

The applicant claimed that he was on December 15, 2015 arraigned in the third court in a charge marked, FCT/HC/CR/42/2016 where he was also granted bail.

Upon his release on bail at Kuje prison on December 29, 2015, Dasuki averred that he was re-arrested by the operatives of the DSS and had since being kept in solitary conferment, thereby impairing his ability to provide for his family.

The affidavit indicated that the concern and apprehension of his family became compounded when president Muhammadu Buhari in his maiden Presidential media chat of December 30, 2015 said that Dasuki will not be released because of the weight of charges against him and that he may likely jump bail.

Meanwhile, hearing in the matter has been slated before Justice Peter Kekemekun after the yearly vacation of the FCT high court.