Court Throws Out Ex-NSA Dasuki’s Judgment Enforcement Suit Against FG

The ECOWAS Court has dismissed an application by former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki seeking to compel the Nigerian government to enforce a judgment delivered in his favor on October 4, 2016.

The court had previously ruled that Dasuki’s arrest and detention by the Nigerian government were unlawful and a violation of his rights.

In delivering the judgment on Dasuki’s application for enforcement, Judge Rapporteur Sengu Koroma stated that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain or enforce the earlier judgment.

Koroma explained that the court was guided by the procedural requirements for enforcing its judgments as outlined in Community Law, noting that the proper party to institute an enforcement failure claim was not Dasuki himself.

“Having thoroughly assessed the claims and constitutive texts of the Court, it lacks the competence to adjudicate the present claim,” the court declared.

In the original 2016 judgment, Judge Friday Nwoke declared the government’s actions against Dasuki as “arbitrary, unlawful, a mockery of democracy and the rule of law, and a violation of local and international rights to liberty.” The court found that the Nigerian government’s actions violated Dasuki’s rights under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The court ordered the release of all seized properties and the payment of N15 million in damages to Dasuki.

However, following the federal government’s failure to comply with the 2016 judgment, Dasuki filed the application before the ECOWAS Court seeking enforcement. At the hearing, the federal government argued that the properties claimed by Dasuki were the subject of ongoing criminal proceedings, which he had not disclosed in his suit.

The government’s counsel also contended that the government had already fulfilled its obligations, pointing out that the court’s chief registrar had issued a writ of execution, rendering the applicant’s relief unnecessary.

The court’s panel, which included Edward Asante (presiding), Sengu Koroma (judge rapporteur), and Ricardo Claúdio Gonçalves (member), awarded no costs to either party in the suit.

This decision underscores the challenges individuals face in seeking enforcement of judgments from international courts, particularly when procedural complexities and jurisdictional issues come into play.