The federal government has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki
(rtd) and Sahara Reporters publisher and convener of #RevolutionNow campaign, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
In a surprise Christmas gift to the families of arguably Nigeria’s most popular detainees, the Attorney
General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN Tuesday ordered the State
Security Services (SSS) to release the duo in line with the bail granted to them by the Federal High Court.
In a statement he personally signed, Malami said:
“The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal
charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Omoyele Sowore. Whilst the Federal High Court
has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the Defendants in respect of the charges against them, I
am also not unmindful of the rights of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the
grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the
Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. However, my Office has chosen to comply with the court
orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail
as granted or varied by the courts.
“In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance
with the bail granted Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail
granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order
granting bail to the Defendants and effect their release.
“The two Defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any
act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its
course in accordance with the laws of the land.
“I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my Office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria. This
administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and administration of justice in
The continued detention of the two prominent detainees, in spite of several court orders granting them
bail, has generated condemnation against the action of the Federal Government from a cross section of
Nigerians, especially human rights activists. Their release will be widely welcomed and probably hailed
as a sign of what to come from the government in the New Year.
Malami’s statement was however silent on another prominent Nigerian detainee, Sheik Ibrahim El-
Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as the Shii’te movement. El-
Zakzaky’s detention and trial has continued to divide opinion across the coutry, with the human rights
community also calling for his release.