Justice Yusuf Halilu of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, Jabi, has granted Nicholas Ashinze, a colonel and ex-aide of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), who has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria army, bail on self-recognition.
Ashinze had filed a fundamental rights suit against the EFCC, the Nigeria army and Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, challenging his detention by the agents of the federal government since December 23, 2015. He asked for N500m in damages.
While delivering his ruling, Justice Halilu stated the EFCC, the Nigeria army and other security agencies must learn to discharge their duties in accordance with the law.
The respondents (EFCC and Nigeria army) have not behaved as if they live in a civilised society. They behaved like we are still in the military era,” the judge said.
“They must learn to behave themselves and act within the basic provisions of the law.”
He held that it was “illegal, wrongful and a blatant violation of the fundamental human rights of applicant” for him to be held for months without trial.
He, therefore, ordered the release of Ashinze forthwith on self-recognition.
“The EFCC’s motto is: Nobody is above the law; but they are acting as if they are above the law here,” Justice Halilu said.
“The EFCC’s Act is not superior to the 1999 constitution as amended. If the EFCC has a case against the applicant they should take him to court.”
However, he did not grant the prayer for the award of N500m against the government.