Abubakar Umar, a retired colonel and social critic, says Sambo Dasuki, immediate past national security adviser (NSA), has been detained for a lengthy spell because he “belongs to the wrong camp”.
Dasuki, who is accused of diverting funds meant to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, has been in detention since November 2015.
In a statement on Sunday, Umar called for his release and noted that the former NSA was being unjustly detained because of his ties to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He expressed concern that despite three courts granting bail to the former NSA, the government has refused to release him.
“The only explanation one can find for Col. Dasuki’s lengthy detention without trial is that he belongs to the wrong camp. He has also the misfortune of having served as national security adviser to the much vilified Nigerian President of Ijaw extraction,” the statement by Umar read.
“Colonel Dasuki’s fate is tied to that of his former principal President Goodluck Jonathan – an honourable and patriotic Nigerian who conceded defeat and congratulated the winner of the 2015 Presidential election Gen. Muhammadu Buhari even before INEC declared the final results, when he could have held on tenaciously to power as is the norm in many Third World Countries.”
The former military administrator of Kaduna state lauded the suspension of Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and Ayodele Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
He, however, noted that fair-minded Nigerians are sceptical over the conduct of the government’s anti-corruption war which appears to be aimed at the persecution of the opposition.
“The decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to suspend the SGF Mr David Babachir Lawal and the DG NIA Mr Ayodele Oke while they are being investigated is a welcome development in its war against corruption. It is also remarkable and commendable that the Govt. has decided not to detain the duo while they are being investigated,” said Umar.
“This is a welcome departure from the prevailing anti democratic process by which accused persons, particularly from the opposition camp, are unlawfully detained pending the commencement of investigations, or refused bail granted by law courts.
“There is national unanimity in support of the war against corruption which is expected to be non-discriminatory and waged by a meticulous adherence to the rule of law. For the war to be meaningful and sustainable, it must be elevated beyond a President Buhari personal struggle to a national one.”
Umar urged the federal government to obey the rulings of the courts and immediately set free Dasuki.
“Our extant constitution is quite clear on this issue. The federal government does not have the power to determine which offence is bailable or whether an accused person is deserving of bail. It should therefore obey courts’ decisions and release Col. Dasuki without any further delay. His unlawful detention, campaign of calumny and pretrial publicity make it impossible for him to receive a fair trial,” he said.
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