Lawyers Disagree On The Arrest Of Former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, For Corrupt Arms Deals As Other Top Nigerians Are Taken In
On the orders of the Presidency, Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (Retd), was yesterday arrested by the Department of the State Security Service (DSSS) over his alleged involvement in the N333B arms purchase deal.
There were indications that former Minister of State Finance, Bashir Yu- guda, alongside former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa and Daar Communications Plc Chairman, Dr. Aleogho Dokpesi, were also taken into custody for alleged involvement in the arms deal.
Dasuki, who had been placed under house arrest in the past two weeks, The UNION gathered, was yesterday forcefully moved out of his Asokoro, Abuja residence on the order of the Presidency.
It was however learnt, that the ex- NSA will be given opportunity to explain his own side of the story as he
will be facing afresh, a six-man panel that will interrogate and determine his detailed involvement in the deal.
Recall that a 13 man probe panel had indicted Dasuki in their report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of multiple wrongdoings in the arms purchase saga allegedly ordered by his office.
This is just as various lawyers yesterday expressed divergent views on the legality or otherwise of the arrest by the Department of State Security over an alleged N333 billion arms purchase fraud. Dasuki was arrested despite severalf court actions and outright court orders. While Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Abdul Mahmud and Kayode Ajulo condemned the arrest, Dr. Tunji Abayo- mi said the arrest was in order.
In an interview with newsmen, Ozekhome said Dasuki’s arrest was an invitation to anarchy by the rule of the top rather than the rule of law.
“We are gradually being taken back to the Hobbesian state of nature where life was short and brutish. Dasuki is not just like any ordinary Nigerian. He was a former National Security Adviser and if he could be treated so shabbily by security department, in defiance of a valid court order, which was again re-affirmed by the judge, then the holocaust is here; we are in trouble. Then it means the judiciary is becoming gravely endangered and that will be intimidatory to judges.
“It simply means that court orders can be violated with impunity and nothing happens. The DSS have kept siege on Dasuki’s house for barely one month, we are not in a military dictatorship, we are not in a tacit state, we are not in despotic or totalitarian state, we are operating a constitutional democracy where civil rights and freedom and rule of law are triumphant. And that is why I looked at the issues from spectacles of serious gravity as to the future of human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria.
“DSS is supposed to carry out surveillance, they are not prosecutors, if they feel someone have committed an offense, they can arrest the person and hand over to the police to prosecute, but they can take laws into their hand and begin to pick and chose which order of court they will obey. They should release Dasuki immediately to go and meet his family.
“Whatever offense he has committed could be sorted out in a court of law. That is why the Judiciary is there under Section 6 that is why the Legislature is there under Section 4 that is why the Executive is there under Section 5f It is the doctrine of separation of power and check and balances”, he stated.
Also commenting, President of the Public Interest Lawyers League, Abdul Mahmud (described the DSS action as “sad”. According to him, “there’s a competent and existing order of the Federal High Court, Abuja which has not been discharged by the court or the appellate court and for the DSS to arrest him is the height of executive recklessness”.
Another lawyer and National Secretary of Labour Party, Kayode Ajulo said the action of the DSS is an affront to the Nigerian judiciary especially when there are several pending court orders on what the DSS went to do.
“If the DSS have any case they should have gone to court, even the AGF who is the chief law officer owes Nigerians an explanationf on why such things should be done”, he added. Also reacting, a Constitutional lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi noted that there is no law that protects a criminally accused from arrest.
“There is no law anywhere in the world that protects a criminally accused from arrest. In fact, if discoveries are made after an order of court, for example another offense is discovered, the state can intervene.
“The issue that is central here is that if the country cannot be protected from criminality, then there is no hope for the society. That is the first and primary responsibility of the state. In the case of this nature, one of the most terrifying criminality is the criminal activities of people in government”, he said.
– Tony Ailemen, Abuja