Wednesday 15 June 2016

Arms Fraud: Appeal Court dismisses ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki’s appeals

Sambo Dasuki
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Abuja has dismissed the appeals filed by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), seeking to compel the federal government to allow him to enjoy the bail granted him by an Abuja High Court.

The court in a judgment delivered by Justice Abdul Aboki, held that the appeals lacked merit and substance and consequently dismissed it.

In a unanimous judgment, the court agreed with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which put Dasuki on trial, that it was not in contempt of any court order because his re-arrest in December last year was not at its instance.

Justice Aboki said from the submissions of the appellant counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) and the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the bail condition granted Dasuki was perfected on December 29, last year and that a warrant of release to that effect was served on the Comptroller of Prisons in Kuje, upon which he was released.

On his re-arrest by the operatives of the Department of the State Services (DSS), the court agreed with the Abuja High Court that the re-arrest could not be turned to a disobedience to its order because the order to release Dasuki bounded the EFCC and not the DSS.

The appellate court held that the EFCC which put Dasuki on trial on criminal charges at the Abuja High Court could not be held responsible for the action of the DSS on the ground that the two agencies were different entities established by different Acts and vested with different powers.

In one of the cases, Dasuki is charged with illegal possession of arms. An allegation he denied.
The court further held that there was no existing order against the re-arrest of Dasuki and as such there could not be a disobedience to a non-existing court order.

In the appeal, the court said form 48, which deals with contempt of court, was not served on either EFCC or DSS and as such, the two agencies could not be held liable for the offence of contempt.

Justice Aboki therefore held that there was no violation of any court order either by DSS or EFCC in respect of the bail granted Dasuki on December 18, 2015 and his subsequent re-arrest on December 29, 2015 by DSS operatives, shortly after he perfected his bail condition and secured freedom.

However, the Appeal Court held that court order must be obeyed and the issue of bail was a right to any person charged to court adding that any act of disobedience to court order was injurious to smooth running of the society and an invitation to anarchy.

Dasuki had approached the Court of Appeal seeking to set aside the ruling of an Abuja High Court which exonerated EFCC from his re-arrest shortly after he perfected his bail conditions.
He asked the appellate court to set aside the lower court’s ruling on the ground that DSS and EFCC were both agents of the federal government, the complainant in the charges against him at the high court.

Credit: ThisDay

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