DSS seeks se­cret trial for Da­suki

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By John Chuks Azu

From left: Former gover­nor of Sokoto State, At­tahiru Ba­farawa; a lawyer, Ahmed Raji; and former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Sambo Da­suki, at the Fed­eral High Court Abuja yes­ter­day.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day asked a Fed­eral High Court in Abuja to con­ceal the iden­ti­ties of wit­nesses in the trial of former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser (NSA), Sambo Da­suki over al­leged il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms.

Da­suki was in Septem­ber ar­raigned on a one-count charge of il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms with­out li­cence by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­trary to the pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 27(1) (a) (i) of the Firearms Act, CAP F28 LFN, 2004.

Da­suki, how­ever, pleaded not guilty to the of­fence.

How­ever, at the re­sumed hear­ing yes­ter­day, the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) Mo­hammed Diri an­nounced ad­di­tional five count charges against Da­suki.

In the fresh charges, the former NSA al­legedly re­tained funds which formed part of the pro­ceeds of an un­law­ful act con­trary to sec­tion 15 (2) (d) of Money Laun­der­ing Pro­hi­bi­tion Act 2011.

While ar­gu­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion for se­cret trial, Shuaibu Labaran re­quested that the names and ad­dresses of wit­nesses be not dis­closed to the pub­lic dur­ing the trial.

While ask­ing that the wit­nesses be al­lowed to wear fa­cial masks and use pseudonyms, he also sought an ap­proval of the court for wit­nesses to use non-pub­lic route to and from the court.

The pros­e­cu­tion asked the court to bar mem­bers of the pub­lic from at­tend­ing the trial ex­cept ac­cred­ited news­men.

How­ever, defence coun­sel Joseph Daudu (SAN) urged the court to dis­miss the ap­pli­ca­tion for lack of merit.

In the fresh charges, the pros­e­cu­tion ac­cused Da­suki of re­tain­ing $40,000, N5m and an­other $20,000 in the same house and same date con­trary to sec­tion 15 (2)(d) of Money Laun­der­ing Pro­hi­bi­tion Act 2011.

Be­sides, the ac­cused was said to have on July 16 at his Abuja and Sokoto res­i­dences re­tained an­other $150,000 and N37.6m be­ing part of pro­ceed­ings of un­law­ful act con­trary to Sec­tion 15 (3) of the Money Laun­der­ing Act 2011.

Mean­while, the ac­cused per­son through his coun­sel has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for tem­po­rary re­lease of his trav­el­ling doc­u­ments from the court to en­able him travel abroad for med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

The med­i­cal check was said to have been over­due since July but that he could not travel due to seizure of his pass­port.

Photo Macjohn Akande

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