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N50m Sanusi’s Compensation: DSS Appeals Court Ruling

Kayode Adelowokan

Following the ruling of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday over the enforcement of fundamental rights of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Mr Lamido Sanusi, the Department of State Services has appealed the judgment.

Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi Lamido

In the ruling, Justice Ibrahim Buba, declared the seizure of Sanusi’s passport unlawful and ordered the Federal Government to return the document and tender a public apology to Mr Sanusi.

Justice Buba, also awarded the sum of 50 million Naira (about 296,000 dollars) as damages in favour of the suspended CBN Governor.

The court further restrained the Federal Government, through its agents or representatives, from arresting and detaining Mr Sanusi without following due process of law, and restrained the government from interfering with Mr Sanusi’s freedom of movement.

According to a statement by the spokesperson of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar, the DSS expressed its disappointment and dissatisfaction with the judgment, describing it as erroneous.

Ogar stated that in impounding the passport of Mr Sanusi, the Service had acted in accordance with the law, citing sections 3(2) (b) of Instrument SSS No. 1 made pursuant to section 6 of the National Security Agencies (NSA) Act.

The law states: “The State Security Service is hereby empowered to impound and keep in its custody the passports or any other property of persons or organisations under investigation if considered appropriate by the Director General.  Returns of all such seizures shall be rendered to the National Security Adviser, while such passports shall be returned to the Owners as soon as the investigation is concluded”.

She, however, pointed out that the service would continue to hold the judiciary in high esteem as critical partners in nurturing Nigeria’s democracy and in building the nation.

Officials of the State Security Service in February seized Mr Sanusi’s travelling documents shortly after he arrived Lagos from Niger, where he had gone to attend a meeting of governors of central banks in the West African sub-region.

He was still in Niger when he was suspended on allegations of financial recklessness.


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