Friday, June 24, 2016

I’m being prosecuted for old grievances – Dasuki

Embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) has told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that he is being punished by some persons at the highest level of power in the country for perceived grievances they hold against him while in active military service many years ago.
He did not name any particular person.
In his reply to a motion by the government requesting for his secret trial, Dasuki told the court that he has rested his case in God for the ultimate judgment.

“It is crystal clear that the defendant (Dasuki) is being punished by the powers that be for the perceived offences committed long before… we leave them to the Almighty God for his ultimate judgment,” his counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu said.
Dasuki who is facing charges before three different high courts for various allegations and was granted bail but was rearrested in last December. He has since been held incommunicado.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the Federal Government had approached the court, seeking secret trial of Dasuki who is facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, money laundering and breach of trust.


In the fresh motion argued by the prosecuting counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi, government prayed the court to allow witnesses give evidence behind the screen to be provided by the court.
He held that the request hinged on the fact that Dasuki, as a former top security chief, has large loyalists across the country who may jeopardize the trial if done in the open.
But counsel to Dasuki opposed the request for secret trial arguing that it would breach the principle of fair trial.
He added that contrary to the position of the government, Dasuki could not be a threat to the witnesses as he has been in the custody of the federal government since December last year.
Dasuki argued that open trial is the minimum requirement in a criminal trial and as such, any attempt to opt for a secret trial in the instant case, which was not a capital offense will run contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution on fail trial.
The defence counsel, therefore, asked the court to discountenance the claim made by the prosecution on the issue of loyalty in the military circle, stressing that such claim was a mere speculation and not backed up by facts.
Justice Ademola fixed ruling and continuation of trial for September 13, 14 and 15.

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