Dasuki’s Trial: Secret Witnesses to Face Ex-NSA’s Lawyers
It has been established that secret witnesses that would testify against former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, must face his battery of lawyers and former top security boss in his trial over charges of unlawful possession of firearms and money-laundering brought against him since 2015.
The secret witnesses are to give evidence behind the screen to be provided by the Federal High Court in Abuja where the ex-NSA is to be prosecuted on the charge. Justice Ahmed Rahmat Mohammed granted the request of the Federal Government to allow government secret witnesses to testify behind the screen.
In his ruling, in a motion on notice argued by Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN) Justice Mohammed said that the request for the witnesses to testify behind the screen was granted because part of the charges against Dasuki has to do with money-laundering.
The Judge said that although a similar request had been presented before the court in 2015 and rejected by the court but however hinted that the decision to allow the use of screen was granted because of the nature of the case of the charge. He said that the fresh motion, argued by Okpeseyi didn’t constitute abuse of court process because
the prayers in the old and the fresh one were not the same.
The witnesses would however not be shielded from lawyers that would be in the court throughout the trial. Besides, the Judge said that Section 232 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 permitted the use of screen when charges have to do with the Economic Crimes as in the instant case.
However, counsel to Dasuki Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN had described the government bid as a cheap blackmail against his client and urged the court to dismiss the request for being speculative, baseless and unmeritorious. Raji said that the ex-NSA was not charged with terrorism offence to warrant protection for any witness adding that several operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have testified against Dasuki in two other courts without any complaint of a threat to their lives.
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