A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ahmed Raji has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki on humanitarian ground and in the interest of justice.
Raji, a senior counsel to Dasuki in the trials, made the plea in an exclusive interview with our correspondent while reacting to a recent statement by Amnesty International (AI), accusing the Buhari administration of secret and illegal detention of many Nigerians.
Dasuki is standing trial over allegations of unlawful possession of fire-arms, money laundering criminal breach of trust amongst others brought against him by the Federal Government in 2015.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and applied for bail which was granted by all the courts but has not allowed enjoying the bail even after meeting all conditions attached to the bail.
But, Raji was however, apologetic on the detention of his client rather than being confrontational on the issue.
He also stated emphatically that he would not joined issues with either the president or the government but would rather plead that on compassionate ground, Dasuki should be allowed to go on bail or at worse be placed under house arrest.
“I hold president Buhari in high esteem, I respect him in his private and official capacity, I have tremendous respect for him and I mean it. And my plea to him is to allow Dasuki to go on bail or at worst be placed under house arrest, be confined to his house.
“Whatever he might have done wrong in the past outside what we have been told I plead in the name of God that he should be forgiven. I am not confirming that he has done anything wrong but I plead that he be forgiven if at all he had done anything wrong in the past”, he said.
He appealed to the Government to obey the court orders, adding that it is through the instrumentality of the same court that the fight against corruption would be prosecuted.
He stressed that If the government is prominent in violating court orders, the consequences would be too great for the system.
“All over the world there is what is known as judicial review or administrative action but there is nothing like executive review of the judicial decision. The implication of disobedience of the four court orders is that there appear to be a concept of executive review of judicial actions on Dasuki which is abnormal.
“I will only humbly plead with the Federal Government to, in the Interest of Justice and sanctity of law and orderliness, to allow Dasuki to go on bail even if under house arrest”.
While refusing to join issues with the Amnesty International to comment on internal problems of the country, Raji said that every country has its own internal problem and that he will not take joy in discussing Nigeria’s internal problems with foreign forces.
“Col. Dasuki’s problem is an internal affair of Nigeria, he has no other country. I will want the problem to be resolved within the context of the Nigerian affairs”, he said.
The senior advocate admitted that the trial of Dasuki goes beyond ordinary crime because it has doses of politics which at the end of the day may have to be resolved in a manner that will accommodate the political aspect.
“It is in the light of the political doses involved that I am pleading that even if it is under house arrest, Dasuki should be released in the interest of justice.