Preye Dagogo in Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has once again applied to the
Federal High Court in Abuja for protection of witnesses that will
testify against the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in
the charge of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering
brought against him.
The fresh application to that effect was brought to court on Tuesday
by Oladipo Okpeseyi engaged by the federal government to lead the
But in an opposition to the fresh request, Mr. Dasuki asked the court
to dismiss the government motion on the ground that it lacks merit and
constitutes a gross abuse of court process.
The Ex-NSA in a counter affidavit filed by his lead counsel, Ahmed
Raji, argued that there was no justification for the Federal
Government to have brought the motion for secret trial for the second
time having lost in the first motion.
The defendant insisted that the federal government had on its own
volition placed the charges against him in the social media where the
names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put
at the disposal of the general public.
Besides, Mr. Dasuki maintained that when the first application was
argued by the then Director of Public Prosecution of Nigeria, Mohamed
Diri, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same court in a landmark ruling
dismissed the request on the ground that the witnesses were already
known by the public having given their names through the on line .
Mr. Dasuki’s lawyer further said that bringing the same motion to the
same court constituted a gross abuse of court process and that what
the prosecution ought to do if not satisfied with the decision of
Justice Ademola, was to have gone to the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Dasuki, who attached a copy of the earlier court ruling on the
application, urged the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, not to
allow the fresh motion for secret trial to be entertained because it
would violate his right to fair trial and will run contrary to the
principle of the rule of law and natural justice.
When the motion came up on Tuesday, Mr. Opeseyi could not move the
motion on the ground that the defence had just served him a voluminous
counter affidavit objecting to the motion.
The prosecution counsel told Justice Mohammed that so many fundamental
issues were raised in the counter affidavit and that plethora of
authorities were also cited in the counter affidavit.
He, therefore, applied for an adjournment to enable him study the
counter affidavit and respond to it appropriately.
The defence did not object to the request for the adjournment but
clarified that the fresh motion for secret trial was served on the
defendant last Thursday, hence their counter affidavit prepared over
the weekend was served today within the time allowed by law.
Justice Mohammed has therefore fixed hearing of the motion for March 1.
Preye Dagogo in Abuja