Dasukigate: Ecowas Confirms Jurisdiction Over Rights Suit By Dasuki
BEVERLY HILLS, April 11, (THEWILL) – The Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Court has ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the suit brought before it by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
The suit filed by Dasuki seeks the enforcement his fundamental rights to liberty and to own property as enshrined in the provisions of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution and African Charter on fundamental rights of persons.
Dasuki through his lawyer, Robert Emukpoeruo, and Wale Balogun had dragged the Nigerian government before the ECOWAS court to complain that the invasion of his house in Abuja, Kaduna and Sokoto without any court order or warrant of arrest saying his rights was abused.
However, the government through its lawyer, Tijani Gazali, objected to Dasuki's plea on the ground that ECOWAS court had no jurisdiction to dabble into the trial of any Nigerian in a Nigerian court.
According to Justice Friday Chijoke Nwoke, in the unanimous ruling of a three-member panel of the court, the claim of the Nigerian government that Dasuki's case emanated from his trial on certain offences was inappropriate and lacked merit.
“In our opinion, what Dasuki brought before us as a case is an issue for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty and own property and against unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and unlawful seizure of properties without any court order or warrant of arrest,” the Court declared.
“From the totality of the issues brought before this court, it is clear and there is no ambiguity that the applicant is seeking enforcement of his right to freedom and not on the issue of his trail for any alleged offence before any Nigerian court.
“Therefore, the objection of the government and the request that the case of the applicant in this matter be struck out on the ground of emanating from any criminal matter has no basis, the claims and the request lack merit and hereby dismissed and we declare that the application of Dasuki is admissible to this court.”
The ECOWAS court however clarified that it was not out to decide the issue of whether the applicant was guilty of the charges against him in the Nigerian courts or not, but simply to decide if his fundamental rights to liberty, having been granted bail but re-arrested constitute an abuse of his rights to freedom.
Hearing in the matter has been fixed for May 17 and 18, 2016.