Why is former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki still in detention despite court orders that he should be released?
Dasuki, NSA in the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, is standing trial for embezzlement of over $15 billion fund meant for equipment and other logistics to fight Boko Haram, the insurgent group troubling the Northeastern part of the country.
The ECOWAS Court on Tuesday ordered Dasuki’s release. He went to the court after a Federal High Court’s order that he should be released was ignored.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s biographer, John Paden, hinted that Dasuki’s release from detention may not happen soon.
In Chapter 15 of the book, “Muhammadu Buhari – The challenges of Leadership in Nigeria” which focuses on ‘Military Procurement Accountability’, Paden noted that Buhari believed in confronting to the end any act of corruption that will undermine the integrity of the military.
He also disclosed that such corruption in military procurement that puts the lives of the foot soldiers at risk is capable of endangering the Nigeria Project itself.
Paden writes: “For Buhari who has said openly that he wants to be remembered for fighting corruption, it will be an unmitigated disaster for his legacy if such a gargantuan fleecing went on in his primary constituency, the military, and he failed to unearth it and punish the culprits.
“Buhari knows that Task Force and Division Commanders knew of and approved these arms purchases; Service Chiefs knew too; Ministers of Defence and Finance knew; Chief of Staff knew; civil servants in the Ministries of Defence and Finance knew, Chief of Staff to the President knew; the Vice President knew; and the President knew. It is why Buhari will keep his foot on Dasuki’s throat until he fesses up.
“Who really was Sambo Dasuki fronting for in Jonathan’s cabinet? That is the main question to which Buhari is also seeking answers.”
Paden continued: “As noted throughout this study, Buhari has a strong belief in right and wrong. He also has an abiding respect for the Nigerian military as an institution that can help hold Nigeria together.
“From Buhari’s perspective, if corruption in military procurement undermines the integrity of the military, that corruption must be confronted.
“And if such procurement allegations weaken the military response to Boko Haram and put ordinary foot soldiers at risk, that corruption poses a double threat, endangering even the Nigeria Project itself.”
Paden however ruled out personal or political affiliation as a reason for Dasuki’s continuous incarceration.
He said: “It is beyond the scope of this study to assess all the back stories of the relationship between Buhari and Dasuki. Suffice it to say that the so-called grudge between the two has never really existed.
“Dasuki is twelve years younger than Buhari, even though Dasuki did participate in the 1985 counter coup. The family of Ibrahim Dasuki and the Buhari extended family have been linked by marriage for more than four decades.
“In addition, in his inaugural address, Buhari had professed that although ‘the past is prologue’, he had no time to pursue alleged ‘enemies.”
“Other personal relationships in play included Buhari’s relationship with Jonathan’s Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau and Buhari’s relationship with General Babangida, who has played such a ubiquitous role in Fourth Republic politics.
“Yet the real story probably has little to do with personal or political relationships.”