World, Africa

Nigeria: Ex-security adviser's family urges his release

Sambo Dasuki was arrested in 2015 for embezzlement of funds to fight Boko Haram

Nigeria: Ex-security adviser's family urges his release FILE PHOTO

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

The family of Nigeria's jailed ex-security adviser on Friday urged the government to release him in compliance with court orders.

Sambo Dasuki was arrested in December 2015 for alleged diversion of funds meant to fight Boko Haram.

The country's secret service also accuses him of illegal possession of arms and threat to national security.

Since then, he has been arraigned before various courts on charges of corruption and security breaches for which he has pleaded not guilty.

The hearing has not been open to public leading to protests from rights activists and his attorneys.

In Friday's news conference, Kabir Auwal, the family's spokesman, said the retired army colonel is being held illegally as at least four courts have granted him bail.

"We urge the Federal Government to respect the rule of law and release Sambo Dasuki on bail, unless the intention of the government is to kill him in detention," he said.

He urged the government to hold his trial in an open court.

The government maintains that releasing Dasuki on bail could threaten national security, a claim the courts have rejected.

Last year, a regional court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ruled in a fundamental human rights case that Dasuki's continued detention violates his right to freedom. The court also ordered the government to pay him a $42,000-fine.

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