Again, Appeal court reduces Dasuki’s bail condition
NEWS DIGEST – The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday reduced for the second time stringent bail conditions imposed on the detained former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki by the Federal High Court in Abuja in July last year.
The court had earlier made the first reduction in a unanimous judgment which it delivered on June 13, 2019 on an appeal by Dasuki challenging the bail conditions imposed on him by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court’s July 2, 2018 judgment.
The lead judgment delivered by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, had reduced the bail sum from N200 million to N100 million and also cancelled the condition that he must pay N100 million to the account of the Federal High Court which would be retrievable only after the completion of the cases against him.
Also cancelled was the Federal High Court’s condition that Dasuki’s sureties must submit evidence of tax payments for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The appellate court also awarded N5m damages against the Federal Government for the unlawful detention of the ex-NSA, who has been in the custody Department of State Services since December 29, 2015, despite series of court orders directing his release.
Following a further application for the variation of the bail conditions, another three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, cancelled the condition that Dasuki must produce a Grade Level 16 civil servant with landed asset worth N100m within the Federal Capital Territory.
In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Stephen Adah, the court held it was wrong for courts to make the presentation of civil servants sureties for bail.
In setting aside the Federal High Court’s old bail conditions, earlier on June 13, 2019, Justice Tinuade Akomolafe- Wilson held, “The imposition of these stringent terms of bail on the appellant practically amounts to a refusal of bail, thereby keeping the appellant perpetually in custody.
“One must put into consideration that this same singular appellant already been granted bail by some other courts with sureties to guarantee such bail.”
She also observed that the conditions imposed by the Federal High Court were unjustifiable as the bails earlier granted to the ex-NSA by other courts where he was being prosecuted remained extant and had not been breached.
She said, “What is paramount to note and very relevant is the fact that the terms and conditions of the bail granted by the previous courts are extant and have not been breached by the appellant.
“They are all to ensure his appearance in court for the offences charged. There is, therefore, no justifiable reason for imposing onerous terms and conditions of bail on the appellant.
“In effect, this appeal succeeds and it is hereby allowed.”