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Again, FG Asks Court for Protection of Witnesses In Dasuki’s Trial
The federal government has again asked the federal high court in Abuja to grant an order to shield the identities of witnesses that will testify against the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in the criminal charges of unlawful possession of firearm Harms and money laundering.
In the motion filed on Wednesday by counsel to the federal government, Oladipo Opeseyi, SAN, the prosecution also wants an order to permit the witnesses to be addressed with Pseudo names in the cause of the trial.
Trial Judge, Adeniyi Ademola had in February dismissed similar motion by the federal government on the ground that the motion was baseless and unwarranted.
The judge held that the purpose of seeking for protection in the earlier motion had already been defeated by government, since it had published the names of the witnesses and circulated same to different parties.
But in the fresh motion, the prosecution told the court that Dasuki as a former NSA, a retired senior military officer and a crown prince of Sokoto Caliphate commands large followership throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria who maybe aggrieved by his trial.
Government also claimed that most of the witnesses are security personnel and have expressed fears of being identified by members of the public who are sympathetic to Dasuki.
The applicant also claimed in the motion that Dasuki while in office as NSA allegedly imported into the country a large cache of highly sophisticated arms and ammunition for national security purposes that have not been accounted for. Besides, government also alleged that huge ammunitions may in the possession of persons who are sympathetic to the defendant.
Government also said that the security of its witnesses will be compromised if they are made to testify publicly without any protection.
However, counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daudu, SAN, told the court that he had just been served with the motion and he needed time to respond.
Justice Ademola subsequently Adjourned hearing of the motion till June 23, 2016.