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Court of Appeal dismisses Dasuki’s bail bid

By Oludare Richards, Abuja   |   16 June 2016   |   1:22 am

courtJudge says arguments lack substance, merit

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has dismissed the appeal of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), where he is seeking an order of the appellate court to compel the Federal Government to allow him to enjoy the bail he was granted by an Abuja High Court.

In its judgment delivered by Justice Abdul Aboki, the appeal court held that Dasuki’s appeal lacked merit and substance and consequently dismissed it.

In an unanimous judgment of the full panel of the appellate court, it upheld the submission of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which put Dasuki on trial, that it was not in contempt of any court order because the re-arrest of the appellant (Dasuki) in December last year was not at its instance.

Justice Aboki said that 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 Security Service (DSS), the Appeal Court agreed with the Abuja High Court that the re-arrest cannot be turned to a disobedience to its order on bail because the court bail was not targeted at the DSS when it was granted.

The appellate court also said that the EFCC, which put Dasuki on trial on criminal charges at the FCT High Court, cannot be held responsible for the action of DSS on the ground that the two agencies are different entities established by different Acts and vested with different powers.

Besides, the appeal court said there was no existing order against the re-arrest of Dasuki and that since there is no existing order, there cannot be a disobedience to a non-existing court order.

The court held that the appellant ought to have established the terms of court order on the bail clearly to indicate in clear terms, the agency that can be held for contempt if the order is violated.

In the appeal, the court said that Form 48, which deals with contempt of court, was not served on either EFCC or DSS and as such, the two agencies cannot be held liable for the offense 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 is injurious to smooth running of the society and it is an invitation to anarchy.

Dasuki had approached the Court of Appeal praying it 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 void the ruling of the High Court and set it aside on the ground that DSS and EFCC are both agents of the Federal Government, which is the complainant in the charges against him at the high court.




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