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Power play may yet keep Nigeria’s former strongman Dasuki in jail

Colonel Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was on Monday granted bail after being detained by the Nigerian government for over two years

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Colonel Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was on Monday granted bail after being detained by the Nigerian government for over two years.

It would not be the first time that the courts were doing so. Earlier decisions of the courts have been shunned by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which continues to insist that Dasuki remains a person of high risk to the security of the country.

The latest bail granted to Dasuki may yet go the way of others as the government had also slammed corruption charges on the former presidency strongman.

The Monday judgment was granted by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja. She granted bail to Dasuki in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum, and ruled that “the long and continued detention” of the applicant since December 29, 2015, could not be justified.

“The respondents have not successfully justified the long and continued detention of the defendant. Based on the circumstances of this case and the established facts, the honourable court is of the humble but firm opinion and as affirmed by superior authorities that the applicant (Dasuki) has made out a case to warrant the intervention of this court,” she said.

She added, “The 1st and 2nd respondents, (the DSS and its Director-General, Mr. Lawal Daura), cannot impose custodial punishment on the SAN) – to focus on prosecuting Dasuki based on the “fresh” case of money laundering they claimed to have against him instead of sticking to a “pyrrhic victory” of holding him in unlawful detention.

“What this court is saying, in essence, is that the respondents should focus on prosecuting the applicant and not on the pyrrhic victory of holding him in an unlawful detention.

“When it comes to the rule of law and the constitution, if the applicant is found culpable for the alleged offences, he should be visited with the full wrath of the law if he so deserves.
“The law remains that the burden of proving the illegality or the unconstitutionality of the fresh allegations is on the respondents,” she said.

Read Also: NIGERIA: Just how ‘sensible’ is it to share $300m looted fund to the poor?

Justice Ojukwu described the detention as “an aberration of the rule of law,” insisting that none of the reasons given by the respondents could serve as justification for the long detention.

She also debunked the allegation that Dasuki would constitute a threat to national security, arguing that the fresh money laundering case which the respondents claimed to have against him would not affect national security.

“It is clear that the applicant has been in detention under the custody of the 1st and 2nd defendants (DSS and its DG) since December 29, 2015.

“Since the applicant has been made to honour the said invitation, why is he still in custody of the 1st and 2nd respondents for about two and a half years?

“This query is also in view of the fact that the respondents have averred that they are not standing on the way of the applicant to actualise the bail granted him.

“The continued detention of the applicant by the respondents despite the bail granted to him by the courts in other matter is an aberration of the rule of law, “ Ojukwu averred.

The Monday judgment comes nearly two years after the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice in Abuja, in its own verdict delivered on October 4, 2016, ordered his unconditional release from illegal custody. The Nigerian government refused to honour the judgment.

“The continued detention of the applicant, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), by the operatives of the 1st respondent (DSS) under the instructions of the 2nd respondent (the DG) since December 29, 2015, till date without granting him an administrative bail is a violation of his fundamental right to liberty under section 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” the ECOWAS court ruled.

Politics

Somaliland electoral body, SLNEC, postpones presidential election. Here’s why

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Somaliland has postponed its presidential elections to next year from its initial scheduled date in November.

The region’s electoral body, Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC) made the revelation on Saturday.

The poll will now be held in nine months from October – or next July – because the currently scheduled date of Nov. 13 “is not viable due to time, technical and financial constraints,” SLNEC tweeted on Saturday.

 

There were deadly protests in the region in August with demonstrators demanding elections be held in November when President Abdi’s term will end.

The protest came out amid suspicions President Muse Bihi Abdi wanted to delay the poll and extend his term.

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Chad pushes for Africa’s permanent seat at UN’s Security Council

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Chad, a country in Central Africa is pushing for a representation of the continent in the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member.

Chad’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Awatif El Tidjani Ahmed Koiboro, on Friday said Africa’s inclusion into the Security Council would “correct a historic injustice” and help countries in the G5 Sahel.

“On the reform of the Security Council, the body responsible for peace and international security, Chad once again urges member states to move from rhetoric to action in order to achieve the said reform and correct the historic injustice towards the African continent, which excludes it from full and equal participation in this body.” She said.

“Regarding the internal situation of the G5 Sahel, which recorded the departure of the sister Republic of Mali, we regret this withdrawal,” said Mss Koiboro.

“Because Mali is a founding member of this organization. It has its place by our side.

“We will not be able to defeat terrorism, stabilize and develop the Sahel, without a common fight and pooling of resources.

“We hope that our Malian brothers will reconsider their decision and rejoin our common organization. The door of the G5 Sahel is always wide open to welcome them.

The push for a permanent seat at the UNSC has lasted for some time, countries like South Africa and specifically Nigeria have already demanded two permanent seats be allocated on the UN Security Council to Africa. How soon will the seat come?

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

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