Former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, on Monday, April 11, 2016, won the first leg of his case against the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Economic Community for West African States, ECOWAS, court.
The retired army officer is challenging his alleged unlawful arrest and detention without trial since December by the Department of State Service, DSS, over alleged diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms to fight insurgency in the country.
At the court in Abuja on Monday, the FG raised an objection on the international court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, but it was overruled.
Justice Friday Chijoke Nwoke of the ECOWAS court ruled that it has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and dismissed out-rightly the objection of the government against Dusuki suit on the ground that the objection was misconceived, frivolous and lack merit.
In the unanimous ruling of the 3-member panel read by Justice Nwoke, the court held that the claim of government that Dasuki’s case emanated from his trial on certain offences was inappropriate and being the basis for his objection to the applicants case in this matter cannot hold water since the relieves sought by Dasuki have nothing to do with the ongoing trial at the domestic courts of Nigeria.
The court held that the claim of government that Dasuki ought to have filed contempt charge against the Nigerian government for disobeying court orders that admitted him to bail but flouted by the defendant cannot be sustained because the case of applicant is not ambiguous, in that it has no root from any criminal trial in any court.
Justice Nwoke said that at any rate the case of Nigerian government cannot stand in the face of the law because there is no evidence that Dasuki has filed similar pending matter in any international court and that even if he has similar matter in any Nigerian court up to supreme court, such domestic court cannot have the status of international court as envisaged in the treaty in which Nigeria is a signatory.
The court then fixed May 17 and 18, 2016, for definite hearing in the matter.