22 September 2017

Nigeria: Senior Advocate Begs Buhari to Release Dasuki

Abuja — A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ahmed Raji, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), on humanitarian grounds and in the interest of justice.

Raji, a senior counsel to Dasuki, made the plea in an exclusive interview with THISDAY on recent statement by Amnesty International (AI), accusing the Buhari administration of secret and illegal detention of many Nigerians.

Dasuki is standing trial on allegations of unlawful possession of fire-arms, money laundering, criminal breach of trust, among others preferred against him by the federal government in 2015.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and applied for bail which was granted by all the courts but have not been allowed even after meeting all the conditions attached to them.

But Raji was however, apologetic on the detention of his client rather than being confrontational on the issue.

He also stated emphatically that he would not join issues with either the president or the government but would rather plead that on compassionate grounds that Dasuki should be allowed to go on bail or at worse be placed under house arrest.

"I hold President Buhari in high esteem, I respect him in his private and official capacity, I have tremendous respect for him and I mean it. And my plea to him is to allow Dasuki to go on bail or at worst be placed under house arrest and be confined to his house.

"Whatever he might have done wrong in the past outside what we have been told, I plead in the name of God that he should be forgiven. I am not confirming that he has done anything wrong but I plead that he be forgiven if at all he had done anything wrong in the past," he said.

He appealed to the government to obey the court orders, adding that it is through the instrumentality of the same court that the fight against corruption would be prosecuted.

He stressed that if the government is prominent in violating court orders, the consequences would be too great for the system.

"All over the world, there is what is known as judicial review or administrative action but there is nothing like executive review of the judicial decision. The implication of disobedience of the four court orders is that there appear to be a concept of executive review of judicial actions on Dasuki which is abnormal.

"I will only humbly plead with the federal government to, in the Interest of justice and sanctity of law and orderliness, to allow Dasuki to go on bail even if under house arrest."


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