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Immediate past Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has said that the order for the release of Col. Sambo Dasku (rtd) from detention by the office of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, shows that the continued detention of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) had nothing to do with N2.2 billion arms deal or corruption. Lamido, who spoke with The Guardian in a telephone conversation, yesterday, maintained that the incarceration of the former NSA was as a result of personal misunderstanding between Dasuki and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former governor said: “It had nothing to do with corruption. Dasuki was invited and interrogated. And after, he was formally arraigned, thus making his case a subject of the law. For him to be detained a day longer after the court granted him bail was illegal, unconstitutional and very primitive of the government to do so. It was not about the money they said he spent.
“There was a ruling by Justice Binta Nyako that an officer should not be held liable for actions taken in exercise of his office and based on orders of a superior, more so on the order of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
While remarking that Dasuki’s prolonged detention saga had been a personal misunderstanding between President Buhari and the former NSA, Lamido likened his (Dasuki’s) travail to the Tradermoni, which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was given to share, stressing that there was no way Osinbajo could have embarked on the exercise without President Buhari’s knowledge and consent.
“So, the case of Dasuki was not ab initio, based on any missing money or corruption,” he said. “He did not commit any crime, because he was acting on the orders of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”
As to whether the Federal Government responded to public outcry and international pressure, Lamido, who was once Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister stated: “Even Pharaoh has conscience and sometimes it pricks him. Also public outcry must have compelled the government to do the proper thing. President Buhari has a history of flouting the rule of law. He observed recently that Nigeria’s democracy is too slow for him. Detaining Dasuki in spite of court ruling is his own trademark, his own character and judgment.
“When a leader subjects citizens to intimidation, demonizing them so that he is feared instead of respected, the country is doomed.”
It would be recalled that Minister of Justice, Malami, while announcing the order to release Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore, stated: “The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), and Omoyele Sowore.
“Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the complainant/prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“However, my office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.
“In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the defendants and effect their release.”
The justice minister enjoined the two defendants “to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial, which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.”