DSS seeks secret trial for Dasuki
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.