Court outlaws detention of Dasuki’s ex-aide, Ashinze
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting in Jabi, Abuja, yesterday, declared as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the continued detention of Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, former military assistant to erstwhile National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
It also ordered his immediate release from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on self-recognition.
Ashinze has been in detention since December 23 last year for allegedly diverting part of the $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase.
In a suit filed against the commission, the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army last week, Colonel Ashinze not only sought N500 million compensation from the EFCC, he also urged the court to declare his detention illegal as well as issue an order restricting his re-arrest for related offences. The case was then adjourned to yesterday.
In his ruling yesterday, Justice Yusuf Haliru directed the respondents to immediately release the applicant on self-recognition. He also declared his detention for over three months without trial illegal, wrongful, unlawful and constituted a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant.
The court also ordered the immediate release of documents and items seized from Ashinze.
Justice Haliru also cautioned the EFCC and the Army, which he said, acted as if Nigeria was still under military dictatorship.
“The EFCC is a creation of the law. The court will not allow it to act as if it is above the law. It is remarkable to note that the motto of the EFCC is that nobody is above the law, yet they are acting as if they are above the law.
“The EFCC Act is not superior to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The respondents in this matter have not behaved as if we are in a civilised society. They have behaved as if we are in a military dictatorship where they arrest and release persons at will,” the judge chastised.
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