Dasuki Again Loses Bid To Stop Trial As Court Rejects Secret Trial For Illegal Arms Possession

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, April 19, (THEWILL) – A former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has again lost the bid to stop his trial, making it the third time. This was as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja rejected an application by the Federal Government for him to be tried in secret.

Dasuki, who is facing three different charges before three courts, is been prosecuted with some others over an alleged money laundering charges before Justices Hussein Baba Yusuf and Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Maitama, Abuja.

He is charged alone before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court on charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.

In separate rulings earlier this year, Justice Baba-Yusuf and Affen dismissed application by Dasuki seeking to be discharged of the charges against him.

He also sought to restrain the Federal Government from further prosecuting him in any court in Nigeria on the ground that the Federal Government allegedly flouted orders of the court, admitting him to bail.

Ruling on a similar application on Tuesday, Justice Ademola held that the reliefs sought by Dasuki were “not grantable,” insisting that that the nation's laws have made adequate provision for redress where contempt of court is alleged.

Relying on the provision of Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, he also refused Dasuki's prayer for stay of further proceedings in the case.

The judge dismissed the application, thereby making it the third time a court will be rejecting Dasuki's move to stop his trial.

Delivering ruling in an application for secret trial of the former NSA, Justice Ademola held that the federal government had in the charge against the accused listed the names and addresses of 11 witnesses to be called to testify against him and made same available to the general public and as such there was no basis for any hide and seek game in Dasuki's trial.

In the ruling that lasted over one hour, he rejected the plea by government that Dasuki's trial be held in privacy and that only lawyers and accredited journalists be allowed during the trial.

Justice Ademola said that there was no basis to grant the request of government to make the witnesses wear special mask, bear pseudo names and addresses because the charges against were not terrorism charges and that there was no information that the life of any of the witnesses billed to be called was being threatened by anybody or group.

The court held that although, it has the discretion to look into such issues of protection of witnesses in a criminal matter but that such discretion must be judicially and judiciously used only in cases where threat to life had been established by the prosecution.