ECOWAS Court Dismisses Dasuki’s Case Against FG

By Funmi Ojo

On Monday, the ECOWAS Court rejected a plea from retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, urging the Federal Government to enforce a previous judgment in his favour.

Dasuki, who served under President Goodluck Jonathan, initially brought his case before the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging that his life was at risk and that he was under house arrest by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Dasuki argued that his rights to dignity and security of life were being violated, as DSS operatives prevented him from seeking medical treatment abroad.

In 2016, the ECOWAS Court ruled in Dasuki’s favour, declaring his detention by the Nigerian Government illegal and a violation of his rights under both local and international laws.

The court ordered his release, the return of his seized properties, and awarded him damages amounting to N15,000,000.

However, the Federal Government did not comply with this ruling, prompting Dasuki to request enforcement of the judgment.

During the trial, the government denied Dasuki’s allegations, arguing that the properties in question were part of ongoing criminal proceedings.

In the latest ruling, Justice Sengu Koroma dismissed Dasuki’s application for enforcement, citing jurisdictional limitations and procedural requirements outlined in Community Law.

The court clarified that it lacked the authority to enforce the previous judgment, emphasising the proper procedures for initiating enforcement claims.

The panel, comprising Justice Edward Asante, Justice Sengu Koroma, and Justice Ricardo Claúdio Gonçalves, awarded no costs to either party involved in the suit.

This decision highlights the complexities involved in enforcing international court judgments within member states.

Dasuki’s case underscores ongoing tensions between national authorities and regional judicial bodies over human rights and legal compliance.

While the ECOWAS Court’s ruling in 2016 was a significant victory for Dasuki, the lack of enforcement remains a critical issue.

The ruling serves as a reminder of the limitations of regional courts in enforcing their judgments and the need for member states to adhere to international legal standards and respect judicial decisions.

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photographer | Videography | Businessman | Actor | Contractor | Motivational Speaker | Scout and currently the Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers.

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