Dasuki: FG Again Seeks Court Protection for Witnesses


Alex Enumah

For the second time, the federal government wednesday 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 (rtd) over alleged unlawful possession of firearm and money laundering.

The government in a fresh motion on notice brought before the court, is seeking 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 federal government, 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 include the claim that Dasuki as a former NSA, a retired senior military officer and a crown prince of Sokoto Caliphate commands large followership in the country who might 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 been identified by members of the public that might be sympathetic to the former NSA.
The federal government claimed that Dasuki while in office as NSA, imported into the country a large catches of highly sophisticated arms and ammunition that have not been accounted for, expressed fears that these ammunition might be in the possession of persons who are sympathetic to the defendant.

Government also said that the security of its witnesses would 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, the government said 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 that the defendant could not explain the source.

The motion therefore prayed the court to hold that special circumstances have been constituted to grant the request.
However, counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daudu (SAN) told Justice Adeniyi Ademola that he has just been served with the motion that he needed time to respond.

Justice Ademola subsequently adjourned hearing of the motion till June 23.