Dasuki says he’s being punished for old sins as FG insists on secret trial

Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has left in the hands of God, certain undisclosed persons believed to be punishing him for perceived offences committed in the past.

Speaking through his lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), Dasuki said he was being punished by people at the highest level of power in the country for perceived offences he committed during his active military service days.

He revealed this on Thursday, during his trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly diverting $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition for the Nigerian Army.

Although he did not name anybody, Dasuki maintained that his trial was borne out of a mere desire for vengeance which he described as unfortunate.

Daudu, reacting to the prosecution’s request for a secret trial, said Dasuki had left his cause for justice to God for ultimate judgement.

“It is crystal clear that the defendant (Dasuki) is being punished by the powers that be for the perceived offences committed long before… we leave them to the Almighty God for his ultimate judgment.”

Dasuki, since his initial arrest in 2015 has been arraigned (and granted bail) in 3 different high courts for different allegations.

He was however, rearrested in December 2015 by the Federal Government and has been held in custody with outside communications cut off.

At the resumed trial, the Federal Government continued its appeal for the secret trial of Dasuki who is facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, money laundering and breach of trust.

In the fresh motion argued by the prosecuting counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), the government wanted the court to agree to the shielding of the identities of the witness behind a screen provided by the court.

The request was based on the fact that Dasuki was a former top security chief that has a large number of loyalists in the country – whom may disrupt the trial if done in the open.

He further said Dasuki once held the highest security office in the country and has loyalists in security circles whose actions might affect the witnesses in the course of the trial.

He therefore urged Justice Adeniyi Ademola to shield the witnesses from the public in the interest of justice, and to protect them, their families and career.

Dauda however, vehemently opposed the request for secret trial of Dasuki on the premise that it would be a breach of the principle of fair trial.

He said that against the claims of the government, Dasuki could not be a threat to the witnesses because he has been in the custody of the Federal Government since December 2015.

Daudu argued that open trial is the minimum requirement in a criminal trial and as such, any attempt to opt for a secret trial will contravene Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution on fail trial.

The Defence counsel therefore asked the court to dismiss the claim made by the prosecution on the issue of loyalty in the military circle, stating that such statements were not backed by facts.

Justice Ademola after taking argument from both parties, fixed ruling and continuation of trial for September 13, 14 and 15.

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