In a completely surprising move, Nigeria’s government on Tuesday ordered the release of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and convener of #RevolutionNow protest Omoyele Sowore.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami made this public in a statement on Tuesday. Dasuki has been in detention since June 2015, while Sowore was arrested on 3 August. There was no word on Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has also been in detention since December 2015.
Dasuki, the first person to be incarcerated, was arrested over multi-billion dollar and naira slush funds that emanated from his office as National Security Adviser. The money meant to prosecute the insurgency in the country and equip the military, ended up in politicians’ pockets for matters unrelated to security.
There are many ongoing cases over the fund.
Malami said the decision to release Dasuki and Sowore was in compliance with the bails granted the two by the court.
“The office of the honourable 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 two defendants are enjoined 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.
“I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria.
“This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.”
Lawyer to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji (SAN) commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the AGF for the decision.
Raji said: “We thank God Almighty. We thank God Almighty. And we thank God Almighty.
“We thank the President of our country, the Attorney General of the federation, the entire Judiciary and all Nigerians. It is well with us. May God continue to be with all of us.”