By Abdallah el-Kurebe
When the name, Dasuki is now mentioned, little or no quick connect is any longer made to Elder Ibrahim Dasuki, former Sultan of Sokoto and father of the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki. The NSA rather quickly comes to mind.
Ever since the former NSA’s arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram in the Northeast, he has been arraigned before the courts in Abuja, three of which have granted him bail.
Deliberately or so it seems, the anti-corruption Commission has charged him, albeit piecemeal, thereby using that as excuse to rearrest him even after having been granted bail by the three courts. And, incarcerated and allegedly excommunicated from all, including his lawyers and family members (save his wife), the color of a country with seeming lack of rule of law, being unveiled.
A section of Nigerians see the action of president Buhari as total violation of the very constitution that he swore to protect. “It is the constitutional right of any presumed accused person to enjoy bail granted him by any court of competent jurisdiction. Any attempt by any one (including president) to deny such accused person his right of freedom, amounts to violation of the constitution,” Mande Isa said.
However, speaking on Nigeria’s criminal justice administration when his views were sought, Suleiman Usman, Sokoto state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice opined that if there are several criminal cases preferred against any person, if the accused has been charged to court on one of the cases and he is granted bail on that, he could be rearrested and charged to court on the other case(s) that had not been referred to court.
“In that case, it will not be presumed that he is being denied the enjoyment of that bail but that he is being arrested on other charges. It may not also be said to be an infringement of fundamental human rights,” he posited.
One worrying development surrounding Dasuki’s continued detention is the general quietude by all manner of people that should make all necessary noise to ensure that he is freed on bail as granted by the courts.
While Nigerians witnessed protestation in Abuja against the detention of Raymond Dokpesi, African Independent Television (AIT) boss, that has not happened in the case of Dasuki, either in Abuja or his home state, Sokoto.
While supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and founder of Radio Biafra protested against their leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s continued detention by the federal government, no such gesture has been extended to Dasuki.
Quite worrying, according to observers of the development in Dasuki’s trial, is former president Jonathan’s quantum quietude. “Dasuki is being persecuted because of Jonathan and he knows this. But all this while, he has been quiet. Jonathan should break his silence and come out and talk. Or does it means that, if it is true Dasuki gave these people such monies, he had no instruction to do so?” A young family member who chose to keep his name said.
A senior member of the family who pleaded anonimity said that Dasuki’s family is not insensitive to the plight of the former NSA. “Although we are disturbed about the hapenings; about government’s disrespect for rule of law; about president Buhari’s violation of the constitution, which he swore to protect, we are watching to see and listening to hear what his former principal will say.
“We are waiting to see if Jonathan will continue to keep quiet while our brother is left to languish in detention. We are waiting to see what he means by the the quietude. We pray it doesn’t continue. He should open up or else…,”
Disturbingly too, Dasuki”s family members in Sokoto or elsewhere have kept sealed leaps over his continued detention. No single family member or group have so far come out to ‘make noise’ over their brother’s incarceration. It is a discernible to note that the former NSA has been left all alone in the Fight for freedom.
Worthy of note however is that some members of the family, especially the youths, have signified their willingness to stage peaceful protests against the inhuman treatment of their own. “Our silence will soon run out and we may have to express our displeasure against the way the former NSA’s fundamental human rights are being abused. He is a Nigerian citizen and the Nigerian constitution protects his rights even of no one respects the constitution.
“This is not a military junta but a democracy. This country should not be ran like a military regime when rights of citizens are trampled upon without question,” a young member of the family who simply identified himself as Maccido, said.
Surprisingly too, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dasuki’s party at state and national levels, have also chosen to kept sealed lips over his plight. When at a point in time the state organ of the party planned to issued a statement, it renaged for reasons that could not be qualified for the love of the former NSA. At the national level too, the party has chosen the path of quietude that is quantum.
In fact, the whole environment surrounding the former NSA seems to be deserted even by those that were very close to him – why?
This quantum quietude by Jonathan; by the PDP; by his family and by the very environment that surrounded him, begs for reasons why no one is ready and willing to express his displeasure against the continued incarceration of Dasuki.
Would these come round the foremr NSA when he finally regains freedom? Do they see him as guilty as he is being charged? Do they hold grudges against him that they did not enjoy anything from him? Are they afraid that if they shout for his freedom, they might be named as beneficiaries of what he is alleged to have diverted? Just what holds them from identifying with him now that he needs them?
el-Kurebe is a public affairs analyst