22 July 2016
Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution has said that the Federal Government is not detaining retired Col. Sambo Dasuki indefinitely.
Obono-Obla, who said this on Friday in Abuja, explained that a media propaganda was being staged to “give the impression that the Federal Government has refused to release him on bail’’.
“I can assure you that nobody is detaining Dasuki indefinitely.
“There has been a lot of manipulation; media propaganda giving the impression that the Federal Government has refused to release him on bail.
“It is not true; what happened was that he has several charges against him.
“The first charge was unlawful possession of firearms over which he was arrested and arraigned at the Federal High Court.
“He was granted bail and he met the bail conditions, but before he was released, the SSS arrested him for an offence that is unrelated to that one of unlawful possession.’’
Speaking on the alleged detention of suspects without trial, Obono-Obla said detaining suspects for more than 48 hours without trial amounted to a breach of the provisions of the Constitution.
“People arrested know their rights, they know what to do; they do not go to lawyers to help them out.
“In civilised countries, people go to lawyers when they are arrested immediately they would tell you they want to talk to their lawyers.
“Basically that is the law and that is the constitutional provision which is superior to any other law.’’
The presidential aide said counsel to defendants always used frivolous motions to delay trials because the judges were not firm.
“If you look at the administration of the Criminal Justice Act there is supposed to be collaboration between the Courts, the Law Enforcement Agencies and persons and authorities.
“And what is the essence of that law; the essence of that law is to protect society from crime, to protect the rights and interests of defendants, suspects and society.
“The lawyers take advantage of the fact that they are senior members of the bar and the judges are not firm on them, so they come out with all manner of excuses to get adjournment to prolong the matter.
“So if the lawyers are alive to their responsibilities as ministers in the temple of justice then they cannot do that as it is not usually in their clients’ interests.’’
Obono-Obla stated that the president was depending on the National Prosecution Coordinating Committee to improve the standard of prosecuting public officers that looted the country’s treasury.
He said, however, that the anti-graft war should be seen as a collective fight, adding that the president needed the support of the judiciary, legislature and the public to succeed.