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The Absence of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja stalled the ruling scheduled fro yesterday on whether or not the continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki was legal.
Dasuki, who is on trial before the court on charges of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, had challenged his continued detention and urged the court to either quash the charge against him or halt proceedings indefinitely until he was released from detention.
The ex-NSA, in a motion argued by his lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), accused the prosecution of violating an earlier of the court, admitting him to bail. He urged the court not to further indulge the prosecution by allowing it to continue with proceedings in the case.
Justice Ademola was expected to rule yesterday on whether or not Dasuki’s continued detention by the Department of State Services (DSS) was a violation of his earlier orders granting him bail and permitting him to travel abroad for medical reasons.
When parties got to court yesterday, they were informed by court officials that the judge was not available.
It was learnt that the judge’s absence was in relation to the court’s Easter vacation which was still on as at yesterday.
No date has been fixed for the ruling as an official of the court said it was the prerogative of the judge only to determine when to schedule for judgement or ruling.
Similar application by Dasuki had been rejected by two judges in earlier rulings.
Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had, in a ruling on March 4this year, held thaT Dasuki’s application lacked merit.
The judge further held that the order granting bail to the defendant (Dasuki) did not preclude him from being re-arrested by other agencies of the Federal Government in respect of other alleged crime.
“Though, both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the DSS are agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria, they are established under separate enactments and vested with distinct legal persona, powers and responsibilities such that one is not liable for action or inaction of the other.
“Even criminal prosecution is undertaken by them separately in the name of the Federal Government of Nigeria merely to facilitate the due administration of justice, which does not alter the mark of separate and distinct legal identities.
“This being so, the inevitable conclusion to reach is that the applicant has not made out a proper case of disobedience of the order made by this court on December 21, 2015 and therefore there is no legal or factual basis upon which the court can prohibit the complainant from further prosecuting the instant charges not to mention any other charge before any other court as prayed by the second defendant.
“The point has already been made that the order allegedly disobeyed or violated did not contemplate any government agency other than the EFCC and that this court did not restrain the arrest, the re-arrest or detention of the second defendant or any of the defendants for further offences when alleged against them,” the judge said.
Justice Affen added that there was “no correlation” between the prayer sought by Dasuki to discharge him and the alleged disobedience of court order.
“I have found no correlation whatsoever and none has been demonstrated between the alleged disobedience of court order and being discharged of the offences charged.
“I take the considered view that even if the second defendant/applicant has succeeded in establishing the case of disobedience of the orders granted on December 21, 2015, and I have already held that he did not do so, that would not constitute valid grounds for discharging him of the offences preferred against him,” he said.
On February 9 this year, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf (also of the High Court of the FCT) held, in a ruling on a similar application by Dasuki, held that the ex-NSA was in error in his argument that his continued detention was in breach of a subsisting order of the court.