DSS search of Dasuki is legal but not his passport seizure – Falana

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, says that the search of the residence of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, by the Department of State Services, was legal.

In a statement released on Sunday, July 19, Falana said the search was was legal and authorized by law, since the DSS obtained and presented him with a search warrant issued by a Magistrate.

He said: “The fundamental rights to personal liberty and privacy of the home of every Nigerian citizen are constitutionally guaranteed.  Hence, by virtue of section 146 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the residence of any citizen can be searched with a warrant duly signed by a Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.

“Section 149 thereof imposes a duty on any person residing in any building which is liable to be searched to allow free and unhindered access to it and afford all reasonable facilities for its search.”

Speaking further, Falana however, urged the DSS to return the seized passport of Dasuki, if there was no authorization by a court to do that.

“However,  it was reported that Col Dasuki’s passport was seized during the search of his house. The SSS ought to be reminded of the case of the  Director-General, State Security Service v Olisa Agbakoba (1995) 3  N.W.L.R. (Pt 595) 314, wherein the Supreme Court held that the passport  of a Nigerian citizen could not be seized without due process.

It  would be recalled that the seizure of the passport of Alhaji Sanusi  Lamido Sanusi ( the current Emir of Kano) by the SSS under the Goodluck  Jonathan Administration was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Federal High Court. In addition to the order for the immediate release of the passport the court awarded N50 million reparation to the then embattled Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Therefore, the SSS should return the passport of Col. Dasuki to him  forthwith unless its seizure has been authorized by a court of law.”

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