The trial of the former national security adviser, Col. Dasuki Sambo resumes Monday, October 26 at the Federal High Court Abuja.
Dasuki’s trial at the Federal High Court today took another dimension as the federal government added a charge bothering on money laundering.
The prosecution counsel, Shuaib Labaran, filed the fresh charge against Dasuki and also prayed the court to grant his request for a secret trial as well as masking the witnesses brought by the Department of State Services (DSS), among others.
According to the report, Labaran also accused the former NSA of possessing some cash found in his house. He also asked that the hearing be open to only accredited journalist.
Joseph Daudu (SAN), the defence counsel, in contrary sees the case as harmless. As a result, he vehemently opposed the application arguing against secret trial in a democratic dispensation .
Daudu further argued that during military rule, trial of this nature was held openly. He insisted that in a democratic era, the entrenchment of rule of law will be the greatest casualty if trial of this nature is made in secret.
“After all, the identity of the witnesses which the prosecution sought to hide is already in the public domain. Therefore the prosecution seem to be urging the court to embark on mere academic exercise.”
“We consider the trial as harmless to the witnesses. If you make the witnesses anonymous then we may lack the ability to conduct background checks. Even trial of treasonable felony and coup d’tat the witnesses are not hidden and we are in a democracy.”
“Also for the fact that there has not been cases in this court where witnesses are being molested and in this case, it will be a case of injustice if the defence counsel and witnesses are known and the prosecution witnesses who are armed and can protect themselves are shielded. I think all the motions and counter-affidavit have been charged and this is purely an academic exercise.” he argued.
The defence counsel also asked the court to release the travel documents of the accused to enable him travel abroad for medical check-up.
The former president of the Nigeria Bar Association said his client was scheduled to travel for medical treatment a day before his arrest.
However, the prosecuting counsel requested for adjournment to enable his team react to the motion for release of Dasuki’s travel documents.
Dasuki was granted bail on self-recognizance while the presiding Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, fixed Wednesday, October 28, 2015, for ruling.
For the past two months, Dasuki’s trial has been a subject of discussion. He is alleged of being in possession of ammunition without the requisite licence.
On September 1 , prosecution counsel had told the court that Dasuki was charged with the unlawful possession of firearms without a licence which Dasuki pleaded not guilty.
Justice Ademola then granted Dasuki bail on self-recognition but ordered that his passport and other travel documents be deposited with the deputy court registrar while the case was adjourned till October 26 and 27 for the hearing.
Former NSA Col. Dasuki Sambo additionally Charged For Money Laundering