The family of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who has been in detention since 2015, has asked the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Federal Government to respect several pending court rulings which granted their son bail.
The ex-NSA has been in the custody of Department of State Services (DSS).
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, the family members maintained that the President should consider the latest Appeal Court’s ‘landmark’ judgement, having disobeyed previous judgements.
“We are anxiously waiting for President Buhari’s government to obey the latest order of the Court of Appeal by releasing our breadwinner”, a member of the family said.
“So far, six different judges at the FCT High Courts, Federal High Courts as well as ECOWAS Court of Justice have ordered for the immediate release of Dasuki after perfecting the bail condition which were never obeyed.
“We pray that with the unanimous judgment of a panel of the Appeal for Dasuki’s immediate release, the government will obey the order coming from a higher court in the land.”
Meanwhile, a group of well-wishers and sympathizers have offered to stand as sureties for the erstwhile NSA in the latest court judgement at the Appeal Court.
This followed declaration by the Court of Appeal in Abuja that the detention of Dasuki was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, and ordered his release on conditional bail.
The appellate court held that the DSS and its director general acted outside their constitutional powers on the long period of the detention of a Nigerian citizen and imposed a fine of N5million on them to be paid to Dasuki as compensation for breach of his fundamental right.
In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the court led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, the court held that the fundamental right of the ex-NSA had been brazenly and brutally breached by the prolonged detention without trial in any fresh charge or investigation contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
In the lead judgment of Justice Akomolafe- Wilson, Dasuki was subsequently admitted to bail in the sum of N100million and two sureties in the like sum.
The judgment, endorsed by Justice Peter Olabisi Ige and Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, was made public at the weekend.
It read: “The two sureties shall be serving public servants not below the status of level 16 officers in either state or public service of the Federal or any of its agencies and shall produce a valid documents of his or her status to the registrar of the federal high court in Abuja.
“Each surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the high court and other physical address must be verified by the court registrar and shall also produce two recent passport size photographs in addition to deposing to affidavit of means.
“The sureties each shall furnish evidence of ownership of property in the Federal Capital Territory worth N100million”.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court Judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, had on July 2, 2018, admitted Dasuki to bail on conditions the NSA complained to be too harsh and stringent for him his family to perfect especially deposit of N100million to the high court registrar by his sureties before he can be released on bail.
The Appeal Court Justices, however, set aside the harsh and stringent bail conditions of the judge for being outlandish and replaced them with the fresh ones.
The court commended the findings of facts by the judge that Dasuki had been dehumanised by his prolonged detention but disagreed with her on the refusal to award damages as compensation to assuage the injuries inflicted on the ex-NSA.
“In my avowed view the learned trial judge misconceived the prayer of the appellant and erroneously interpreted relief 4 for bail as an alternative prayer to relief 7 for damages”, Justice Akomolafe- Wilson read.
“This error occasioned a miscarriage of Justice by the failure to award damages which is a natural consequence for the finding that the fundamental right of the appellant has been grossly violated; upon which the court heavily deprecated the action of the 1st and 2nd Respondents.
“The established principle of law as amplified in plethora of authorities is to the effect that award of damages must flow naturally once the court find that the fundamental right of an individual has been breached with legal justification. The compensation is automatic, and ought to be granted, even when the aggrieved party does not pray for compensation.
“The judiciary is the main institution charged with the responsibility for the protection and enforcement of human rights. The fundamental rights intentionally entrenched in our constitution must therefore be jealously guarded and protected through practical pronouncements of reliefs granted by the courts so as to assuage citizens whose fundamental rights have been violated.
“Under no guise or any circumstance whatsoever should the court shy away from the hallowed role. It is common knowledge that a threat to the right of one individual is a threat to the right of all. Democracy, which we value exceedingly in this country cannot be successful if respect for human rights and constitution is wobbling.
“The point I am putting across is that effective judicial protection of human rights is an indispensable component of order and good governance so as not to weaken the confidence of the people in seeking for judicial enforcements and remedies of their rights.
“I am conscious of the fact that the lower court heavily deprecated the act of the 1st and 2nd respondents for the unlawful continued detention of the appellant, especially where three courts, including the ECOWAS court had impugned their action of the violation of the appellant right.
“The respondents neither cross-appealed nor filled a respondent’s notice on this issue. The decision of the trial court on the finding that the appellant’s fundamental rights were unlawfully breached is therefore extant. I will therefore say no more on this point.
“I am conscious of the fact that the issue of bail, its grant and the fixing of terms are entirely at the discretion of the court. Such discretion must however be exercised judicially and judiciously. Each case must be determined on its own peculiar circumstances”.
2019 Rivers Guber Poll Tribunal: PDP Tenders Polling Units’ Results To Affirm Wike’s Victory …Election Held In Substantial Compliance With Electoral Act -Counsel …Conduct Of Poll Peaceful, Lawful, Akawor Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, yesterday, tendered strategic polling units’ results from different local government areas to the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal to justify the re-election of Governor Nyesom Wike.
The polling units’ results were tendered in respect of the petition filed against the election of Wike by the Governorship Candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi.
Tendering the polling units’ results from the Bar, counsel to the PDP, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) said the polling results were from 356 polling units.
Obla told the tribunal that the result sheets were from some of the polling units in Obio/Akpor, Khana, Ogu/Bolo, Bonny, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada East, Opobo/Nkoro and others.
He informed the tribunal that the PDP resolved to tender results to prove that elections held across the state at the polling units and declarations made under very peaceful atmosphere.
The counsel added that since INEC and Wike have called witnesses to prove that the Governorship Election was conducted in line with the Electoral Act, the PDP chose to prove the conduct of the elections through documentary evidence.
Addressing journalists after closing the PDP defence, Godwin Obla said that from documentary evidence and oral testimonies of witnesses, it was clear that the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State was held in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act and that Wike emerged victorious.
He said: “This morning on behalf of the 3rd respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we tendered a total of 356 exhibits in support of our case. We feel satisfied that the requirements of the law required of us, have been fully met and that is why we decided to close our case today.
“Don’t forget that the 1st respondent, INEC, called witnesses, the 2nd respondent, Governor Nyesom Wike, who is the candidate of the 3rd respondent, PDP, also called witnesses and tendered a lot of documents that relate to this same subject matter. The interests of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents are actually the same”.
Also speaking, counsel to ADP, Mr Dolapo-Telle Attoni, said “The PDP presented from the Bar a bundle of electoral documents they claimed INEC used in conducting the governorship election. They tendered about 356 alleged polling units’ results. We had asked for few minutes to study these same documents, and also obtain Certified True Copy of the said documents which was not complied with by INEC”.
Following the PDP closing its case, the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has adjourned till September 16, 2019 for the adoption of addresses by parties in the petition filed by Action Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Mr Victor Fingesi.
Earlier, the Director-General of Rivers State PDP Campaign Council, Amb. Desmond Akawor, had said that the 2019 Governorship Election held throughout the state with Governor Nyesom Wike emerging victorious.
Testifying at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, last Wednesday, as the last witness for Wike in a petition filed by the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr Victor Fingesi, Akawor said that the governor won the election by the lawful votes cast on March 9, 2019.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea told the tribunal that he received his party’s duplicate certified copies of election result sheets for all the units, wards and the 23 local government areas.
Responding to a question by counsel to the ADP governorship candidate on why the state government set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the 2019 Elections, Akawor said that the commission of inquiry was established to find out what happened at the collation centres, because voting took place peacefully at all polling units.
However, after closing his case on cross-examination of DW31 (Akawor), the ADP counsel sought to tender an application which is a certified copy of The Tide Newspaper of April 29 in respect of the commission of inquiry.
But Counsel to the governor, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) urged the court to refuse the application, arguing that the petitioner voluntarily closed his matter on July 16 with 23 witnesses.
Ukala noted that in accordance with the rules of the tribunal, each witness was cross-examined within the time given; adding that conduct of proceedings was guided by truth and not by sympathy.
Ruling on the application after hearing arguments from the counsels, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Orjiako, stated that “this application in our view cannot be allowed, the implication being that it should have been tendered within the time allocated to him, therefore, the application is overruled and refused”.
Justice Orjiako had adjourned the matter till yesterday for further cross examination.
In an interview, counsel for Governor Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, explained that the ADP application was refused as a result of improper filing.
He said, “The 2nd respondent (Governor Wike) called all together 20 witnesses, and we closed our case. So, it is left to the PDP, if they wish to call any other witness. They may call, and thereafter, we will all address the court”.
Stop Deducting Money From Rivers Statutory Allocation, Court Orders FG
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court in respect of OML112 offshore and stop the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 or any sum whatsoever, forming the proprietary rights of the Rivers State Government.
The presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, also ordered the defendants to make full refund of the accruable 13 per cent derivation illegally denied the plaintiff from crude oil and gas production within OML 112 and sale from September, 2018 till the determination of the suit; and thereafter.
The judge equally ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation and the RMAFC to pay monthly interests at the various commercial rates at no less than 15 per cent per annum on the illegally deducted 13 per cent derivation due to the plaintiff from OML 112 until the liquidation of all outstanding and accruing debt.
Justice Taiwo further restrained the defendants, their agents, assigns, representatives, privies or howsoever called from disregarding the finality of the Supreme Court judgment delivered on March 18, 2011 in Suit No: SC/27/2010, between: Attorney General of Rivers State and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State & Anor as it relates to the proprietary rights of the plaintiff in respect of OML 112.
The suit was instituted by the Attorney General of Rivers State to challenge the deduction of the sum of N502, 298,943.03 accruing from OML 112 from the statutory allocation of the state by the defendants.
Biafra: Fresh Questions Over Future Of Campaign
Just as the recent physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu in faraway Germany is trending globally for the bizarre affront it represents, so many questions are raging over the integrity and future of the campaign for the actualisation of the Biafra secessionist agenda. It is no more news that Ekweremadu was ambushed and attacked during his visit to Germany to participate as a guest speaker at a traditional Igbo ‘New Yam’ festival. The trailing reactions not only captured the wide divide between the proponents and the opponents of the ‘Biafra’ agenda across the world. It also betrayed and reinforced a more profound aspect being the unmasked, hysteric xenophobic mindset to which the most ardent proponents of the Biafra agenda subscribe to. Primary among these is the endorsement of the outrage of the assailants by Nnamdi Kanu, the now exiled leader of the IPOB, which is just one of the active groups canvassing for the actualisation of the Biafra dream.
From the now trending video clips of the incident,the aggrieved assailants could be heard lamenting about the killing of their kit and kin in the ‘Operation Python Dance’ military assaults on Iboland, at the peak of the IPOB domestic activism phase. Until that point, the German assault on Ekweremadu could easily have passed as a result of the bereaved lamenting and perhaps, over-reacting over the death of their loved ones at home. However, the intervention of IPOB especially with the claim that responsibility for the attack fell on its members changed the entire narrative. First of all, information in the public domain did not specifically mention that the occasion was organised by IPOB. Hence, the intervention of the organisation by persons later identified as IPOB operatives captures the event as having been hijacked by the IPOB for reasons strange to the organisers. Now, the blame or whatever ascription from the event goes to all Ibos, just as the proverb that when a finger picks up oil, it soon spreads it to all the other fingers.
And this is where the various stakeholders of the Biafra agenda, comprising the Igbo represented by the OhanaezeNdigbo, the Eastern minorities and even the entire country need to take the Ekweremadu attack with appropriate discretion. Whatever circumstances that will instigate members of a political pressure group to leave the shores of its home country and brazenly attack a home government official in public glare and in a foreign country, deserves more than a slap on the wrist. The situation calls for renewed discretion especially by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which can be credited with the misfortune of living in a hut on which roof a snake has climbed. That is putting it in classical Igbo metaphor.
For anybody especially the leadership of the Ibos to see the situation otherwise, is to indulge in a mis-read of the festering situation, and expose Ndigbo to a future of miasma in the politics of Iboland as well as that between Ndigbo and the rest of the country. IPOB may remain a most divisive factor in the political calculus of the Ndigbo both at home and abroad as has been dramatically demonstrated in the German attack on Ike Ekweremadu, both for now and in the unknown future. And against the backdrop that not all Ibos and even Ohanaeze are members of IPOB, the need for the group to tread with care becomes most acute. Most Ibos simply want to be left alone to pursue their legitimate businesses in which they are already excelling, and do not want to be bothered by a pie in the sky called Biafra. After all, was it not the great novelist, Chinua Achebe who cited the Ibo proverb that all lizards lie on the ground making it difficult to know which one has stomach pain.
As for the Eastern minorities whose youth especially are being enamoured with flashes of paradise in the Biafra dream, all that needs to be said is that they should go and study the history of the previous Biafra, which occurred before they were even born. They will find out not only why it failed, but also why the mainstream of Ibo intelligentsia is not supporting the campaign – at least spiritedly. Fortunately for them, there are still some survivors of that failed exercise who can provide them valuable insights, to lead them aright. On a cautionary basis, let it be stated here that a child found toying with the very strain of mushrooms that killed his or her parents, is asking for nothing better than the very fate that befell the parents.
As structured today, the Nigerian federation cannot be restructured along secessionist lines without elaborate dialogue and negotiations, in place of a full scale war, no matter the grievances of its component ethnic parts. Meanwhile, IPOB has not demonstrated willingness or capacity for negotiations and the rest of the country is not ready for war. Until further notice therefore, Biafra and all it represents remain hanging in the balance.
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