By Alex Enumah
For the second time, the Federal Government has applied to the federal high court in Abuja, seeking for the protection of witnesses it plans to present in the ongoing trial of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), over alleged unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.
In the fresh motion on notice brought to the court on Wednesday, the FG is seeking for an order to shield the identities of the witnesses and that the record of proceedings should not be made accessible to the public.
The motion which was filed by Counsel to the FG, Oladipo Opeseyi, is also seeking for an order to permit the witnesses to be addressed with Pseudo name in the cause of the trial.
Part of the grounds on which the government is anchoring the motion is the claim that Dasuki as a former NSA, a retired senior military officer and a crown prince of Sokoto Caliphate, commands a large followership in the country who may be aggrieved by his trial.
The applicant is also claiming that most of the witnesses it plans to call are security personnel who have expressed fears of being identified by
members of the public that may be sympathetic to the former NSA.
The FG who claimed that Dasuki while in office as NSA imported into the country a large cache of highly sophisticated arms and ammunition that have not been accounted for, expressed fears that these ammunition may be in the possession of persons who are sympathetic to the defendant.
Government also said that the security of its witnesses will be blown up if they are made to testify publicly without any protection.
In a five-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Emmanuel Ikpebe in support of the motion, government averred that Dasuki served in the intelligence unit of the army and that a large quantity of ammunition was found in his house when searched, in addition to various foreign currencies whose source the defendant could not explain.
Further details later