Respect Law Courts’ Decision, Release Colonel M.S. DASUKI On Bail Please

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 Government has decided not to detain the duo while they
are being investigated. 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.

Most fair-minded
Nigerians are no more impressed and are indeed sceptical with the conduct of
this government’s anti-corruption war which appears to be aimed at the
neutralization and destruction of the opposition.
It is over
one year since three law courts, including ECOWAS Court granted bail to Col.
M.S. Dasuki. The Federal Government has however refused to release him citing
the untenable excuse of the grievous nature of his offence. 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.
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. 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.
This rare act of statesmanship which pulled the country back from the precipice
has been rewarded with utmost disrespect and derision by the APC Federal Government.

President
Jonathan is the most maligned Nigerian former Head of State. Col. Dasuki is
paying dearly for his loyal service to this patriot. All well-meaning Nigerians
must speak out against his unfair and unlawful treatment. We cannot afford to
remain neutral in the face of this monumental injustice. When one Nigerian is
unlawfully detained all of us must have the moral consciousness to feel
psychologically incarcerated.

The above was written by Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), Chairman Movement
for Unity and Progress (MUP)

Former
Military Governor of Kaduna State.


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