Dasuki threatens trial boycott until government obeys bail rulings

Sambo Dasuki

Embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, has berated the Nigerian government over his continued detention and disobedience to various court orders that admitted him on bails.

Dasuki, in a letter he personally signed and addressed to the registrar of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, vowed to boycott any proceeding for his trial since the federal government has proved beyond reasonable doubt that it would not obey any order of the court even if it is in his favour.

The retired army colonel, who is facing separate trials for alleged abuse of office while he was NSA, had previously perfected bails granted him by five different judges of high courts including Justice Ademola Adeniyi, Justice Ahmed Mohammed and Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja Federal High Court and Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Courts.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice had also ordered his immediate release from detention.

In the letter dated November 12, 2018, the Ex-NSA recalled several court judgements which ordered his release from detention since December 2015 which were not obeyed and other decisions that admitted him to bail and which were also refused by the federal government.

“Prevailing circumstances have prompted me to write this letter to the court, the hope of every Nigerian citizen.

“Unfortunately, it seems to me that the current administration has so much interference with the judicial system, such that it has become practically impossible for the court to maintain her independence, the administration of justice. My plight is of common Knowledge,” Dasuki said.

Responding to Dasuki’s letter, counsel to the federal government, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN) asked the court to order the continuation of his trial in absentia.

Mr Okpeseyi who described Dasuki”s action as an affront to the court, argued that the cases for which the defendant has been denied bail are independent of the instant case.

Okpeseyi added that the prosecution was ready to proceed with the trial, but by this action, Dasuki has again forestalled the day’s hearing session.

“This is not the first time. He did it in January and in April,” Okpeseyi said.

In his ruling, the judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said the court will not grant the request by the prosecution to proceed with Dasuki’s trial in absentia unless the prosecution deposes to an affidavit accusing the defence of willfully avoiding the court.

Mohammed said the court had in its previous decision on April 10 settled the issue of Dasuki’s alleged refusal to attend court hearing.