Dasuki’s, Kanu’s rearrests amount to impunity, Falana tells Buhari

Femi-Falana2

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), said on Sunday that there was no legal justification for the re-arrest of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, after they were granted bails by different courts.

Falana in a statement said as a President who won an election on the promise to fight corruption and end impunity in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari was duty-bound to ensure that all organs and agents of government respected the law.

The senior advocate added that the President should restrain overzealous security personnel from engaging in impunity that could expose the government to undue embarrassment.

Falana said, “One of the reasons why Nigerians voted for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) during the last general elections was his promise to fight corruption and end impunity in the country. Upon winning the election, President Buhari further pledged to abide by the Rule of Law.

“To that extent, he has a duty to ensure that all organs and officials of the Government operate within the ambit of the law. In particular, he should not allow overzealous security personnel to engage in any form of impunity and thereby expose the Government to unwarranted embarrassment.”

He said in the cases of Dasuki and Kanu, the only option open to government if aggrieved with the bails granted them, was to appeal against the court rulings.

He said, “In July last year, the State Security Service searched the private residence of former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) at Abuja. When Col. Dasuki alleged that his house was illegally searched, I pointed out that the action of the SSS was justified as there was a search warrant validly issued by a magistrate court in the Federal Capital Territory which had authorised the search.

“He was eventually charged with money laundering and criminal diversion of huge sums of public fund before the Federal High Court and the Federal Capital Territory High Court at Abuja. Notwithstanding the gravity of the offences, both courts have admitted him to bail.

“But after he had met the bail conditions, the SSS decided to re-arrest him at the gate of Kuje prisons on the ground that investigations have not been concluded in respect of other criminal allegations.

“The decision of the SSS to ignore the order admitting Col. Dasuki to bail coupled with the failure to re-arraign him on fresh charges is tantamount to impunity in every material particular. If the federal government was aggrieved by the order admitting Col Dasuki to bail it should have challenged it at the Court of Appeal.”

He said “as much as the Nigerian people are fully behind the Buhari Administration in the patriotic move to recover the looted wealth of the nation”, the Federal government should be advised to ensure that the procedure for the loot recovery meets the tenets of the rule of law.

He also urged the Federal Government to promptly comply with the order granting bail to Kanu.

“In the same vein, the order admitting the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, to bail should also be complied with,” adding, “There is no provision for keeping criminal suspects at the pleasure of security officials”.

“Meanwhile, all valid and subsisting orders made by courts in favour of criminal suspects should be obeyed without any further delay,” Falana said.

Fresh charges were filed against the Kanu and two others barely 24 hours after‎ Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja while ruling on the IPOB leader’s bail application on December 17, ordered his unconditional release from DSS custody having been detained for about two months without any valid charges filed against him.

On December 23, 2015, during the accused persons’ appearance in court for their scheduled arraignment, Kanu refused to take his plea due to what he called his lack of confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

The judge promptly returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge and the three accused persons were returned to the custody of the DSS.

Punch

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