A former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, on Tuesday wrote the court informing it of his resolve to avoid court hearing until the prosecution obeys the court’s ruling on his bail.
He averred that it has got to a point when there must be an end to what he described as “hypocrisy and lopsided/partisan rule of law” by the Federal Government.
Dasuki is facing trial at an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for alleged illegal possession of firearms among other charges. He has been in detention since 2015.
The former NSA, who is facing separate trials for alleged abuse of office while he was NSA, has repeatedly been granted bail by various courts which were not obeyed by the Nigerian government despite him meeting the bail conditions.
In a letter dated November 12 and signed by Dasuki, he chronicled how the federal government repeatedly spurned various court orders, including the judgment of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which okayed his release on bail pending the determination of different charges against him.
The former NSA disclosed that became apprehensive after President Buhari, in his maiden Presidential Media Chat, insisted that the “weight of crimes” he allegedly committed against the Nigerian State, were such that if allowed to enjoy any form of freedom, he would likely jump bail.
He therefore asked the court to: “absolve him of any obligation of appearing at his trial, since the office of the State Security Service, an agent of government detaining him has also refused to respect the various court order for his bail.”
The letter read further, “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 interfered with the judicial system, such that it has become practically impossible for the Court to maintain her independence, the administration of justice.
“The resolve to continue detaining me against the several orders of court and in brazen violation of the Constitution, is wrongful and arbitrary.
“It has inflicted physical, emotional and psychological torture on my family and me. The decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria is not only high-handed, it is also arbitrary and in violation of both domestic and international laws on human rights.
“At this juncture, it will seem that the Nigerian Government is not inclined to yield or obey the Orders of any Court of law, whether domestic or international.
“Ironically, the Federal Government still wants to ride on judicial wings to prosecute me, when it does not comply with the Orders that proceed from the Court, especially in relations to me.
“At this point, I strongly believe that there must be an end to this hypocrisy and lopsided/partisan rule of law. Since the Federal Government has resolved not to comply with judicial Orders directing my release, it is better for the Court to also absolve me of the need to submit my self for further prosecution.
“Justice should be evenly dispensed as opposed to same being in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Kindly bring this information to the attention of his lordship”.
Responding, the prosecution counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi asked the court to order the continuation of Dasuki’s trial in absentia.
He argued that the cases for which Dasuki has been denied bail are independent of the instant case and described the defendant’s action as an affront to the court.
Okpeseyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the prosecution was ready to proceed with the trial, but by his action, “Mr Dasuki has again forestalled the day’s hearing session.”
“This is not the first time. He did it in January and in April,” he said.
Ruling on the matter, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, said he would not take cognizance of the Dasuki’s letter, since it was forwarded directly to his court by the ex-NSA who personally signed it.
He pointed out that it was wrong for any party in a criminal matter, to directly exchange correspondences with the trial court.
Justice Mohammed said he has directed the court clerk to return the letter back to whoever brought it.