The Federal Government has again applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for protection of witnesses that will testify against the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki is facing charges of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering.
The fresh application was brought to court by Chief Oladipo Okpeseyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), recently engaged by the government to lead the prosecution.
The application filed on January 24 is insisting that the witnesses should be given protection by the court by not allowing their names and addresses to be made public in the course of the trial.
But in a strong opposition to the fresh request, Dasuki asked the court to dismiss the government’s motion because it lacked merit and was an abuse of court process.
In a counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Ex-NSA by his lead counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji, argued that there was no justification for government to have brought the motion for secret trial for the second time having lost in the first motion.
The defendant insisted that government had on its own volition placed the charges against him in the internet where the names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put at the disposal of the general public.
Dasuki maintained that when the first application argued by the then Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Mr. Mohamed Diri, Justice Adeniyi Adenola of the same court in a landmark ruling dismissed the request.
It was dismissed because the witnesses were already known by the public having given their names through the internet.
He further said that bringing the same motion to the same court constituted a gross abuse of court process and that what the prosecution ought to do if not satisfied with the decision of Justice Ademola, was to have gone to court of Appeal to ventilate its anger.
Dasuki who attached a copy of the earlier court ruling on the application urged the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, not to allow the fresh motion for secret trial to be entertained.
When the motion came up today, Opeseyi could not move the motion on the ground that the defence had just served him a voluminous counter affidavit objecting to the motion.
The prosecution counsel told the court that so many fundamental issues were raised in the counter affidavit and that plethora of authorities were also cited in the counter affidavit.
He therefore applied for an adjournment to enable him study the counter affidavit and respond to it appropriately.
Justice Mohammed therefore fixed hearing of the motion for March 1.
The Directorate of State Services had in 2015 slammed a two-count charge of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering against Dasuki.
But the trial suffered a setback last year when Justice Ademola withdrew from further conducting the trial following his arrest by the DSS on allegations of corruption related matters.
The withdrawal of justice Ademola from the trial prompted the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court Justice Ibrahim Auta to transfer the case file to the present judge
The Ex-NSA who pleaded not guilty to the charges was in 2015 admitted to bail by justice Ademola but was disallowed by the DSS from enjoying the bail by re-arresting him and keeping him in the custody since December 2015.
Other courts have also granted bails to Dasuki include Ecowas Court’s order for his release but he is still being kept in detention.
Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari
The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.
This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.
The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:
-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;
-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;
-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force
-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;
-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation
-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government
-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.
-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.
IGP Deploys Personnel Over Attacks On Police Stations
With the rising violence in the country, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot police personnel from the Police Mobile Force (PMF).
This is a move to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country.
The IGP’s order was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba.
Mba said the IGP also “ordered massive deployment of Police operatives to strengthen the security around Correctional facilities nationwide.”
“The orders are coming on the heels of increasing attacks including acts of arson and malicious damage to public and private facilities as recorded in some states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
#EndSARS: Address Nigerians Now – Senate Tells Buhari
The Nigeria Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address Nigerians on the ongoing #EndSARS protest rocking most parts of the country.
The Senate gave the directive during its plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmakers also ordered the Nigerian police to protect all #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.
The Senate also urged #EndSARS protesters to halt their march to enable the federal government to meet their demands.
The Senate asked President Buhari to set up a judicial panel of inquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution.
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