A non-governmental organisation—Access to Justice (A2J), has condemned the continuous detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Dasuki Sambo (rtd) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in spite positive orders of the court that they should be released forthwith.
The group in a statement by its Deputy Director, Adenike Aiyedun said the Federal Government has no powers to subvert the judgments of competent courts.
It said it was sad that the Nigerian authorities had continued to disobey the courts and deny Nigerians their fundamental rights.
In response to comments by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu that El-Zakzaky was being held in ‘protective custody’, while Dasuki was still being investigated ‘for other criminal offences’, the group insisted that the executive has no such powers as only the law courts could determine the fate of accused persons.
“Where government arrogates to itself a general right to sit as a court of appeal over judgments and orders of constitutionally established courts, it clearly makes the courts of law irrelevant in protecting the rights of citizens and indirectly usurps the powers and functions of the judicial branch of government.
“This sabotages the whole idea of a constitutional democracy and the rule of law since it denies the courts their legitimate role as protectors of the citizens rights,” the group stated.
It said without protection of the courts, citizens remain completely at the mercy of government and their rights in perpetual jeopardy.“We find the defence by the Federal Government to be completely self-serving, disingenuous and audacious.
“Also, we consider it obnoxious and irresponsible to say, as our government has done, that detaining citizens who have explored every means available to oppose their incarceration, is in the best interest of the citizens.”