ABUJA—The Federal Government, yesterday, opposed an application by the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to be allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Former national security adviser of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki (R), speaks with his lawyer Ahmed Raji, during his trial at the federal high court in Abuja, on September 1, 2015. Nigerian prosecutors on September 1, 2015 slapped a charge of unlawful possession of arms against Dasuki. Dasuki was arraigned on a “one-count charge of being in possession of firearms without licence,” Prosecutor Mohammed Diri told the federal high court in Abuja. AFP PHOTO
Former national security adviser of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki
Dasuki, who is facing a five-count charge bordering on alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering, is seeking the permission of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to go for three weeks medical check-up outside the country.
In the application he moved through his lawyer, Mr. J. B. Daudu (SAN), yesterday, Dasuki urged trial Justice Ademola Adeniyi to order the release of the travelling documents he surrendered to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the High Court.
It will be recalled that the court had on September 1, granted the embattled former NSA bail on self-recognition after he deposited his international passport.
Meanwhile, Daudu, yesterday, told the court that his client was suffering from a sickness that would require attention of his medical doctors abroad, pledging that the passport would be returned to the court after the three weeks treatment period.
Besides, Daudu stressed, the accused person ought to be presumed innocent despite the criminal charges against him.
He pleaded: “My Lord, it is only the living that can stand trial in any law court. It is highly necessary that the accused person be allowed to go for this medical attention
However, government, yesterday, vehemently opposed Dasuki’s application, contending that the National Hospital in Abuja is well equipped to handle whatever sickness he is suffering from.
Government, through the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Mohammed Diri, main-tained that the application was a deliberate ploy by Dasuki to delay his trial.
More so, government, yesterday, told the court that it had already commenced a fresh investigation on another money laundering case involving Dasuki.
It urged the court to refuse the application for the accused to travel abroad, saying he could escape if allowed to leave the shores of Nigeria.
The DPP drew the attention of the court to the fact that Dasuki’s travelling document was the only condition upon which he was granted bail, noting that he did not produce any surety in view of the fact that he was released on self-recognition.
Meanwhile, after listening to all the parties yesterday, Justice Adeniyi adjourned ruling on the application till today.
Similarly, the court said it will today, decide government’s application to mask all the witnesses that will testify against Dasuki.
It had, in an application it filed pursuant to Section 36(4) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 232 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, prayed the court to okay secret trial of the former NSA.
Aside praying the court not to reflect the names of the witnesses in its record of proceedings, government asked that they be allowed to use pseudo names.
It was also government’s application that the witnesses be allowed access to a non-public route to and from the court premises.
It urged the court to only allow lawyers involved in the matter and accredited newsmen to observe the trial.
The prosecuting counsel told the court that Dasuki’s trial was likely to suffer a setback considering that the witnesses declined to testify without protection for fear that they might be attacked afterwards.
The application was opposed by Dasuki’s lawyer, who urged the court to dismiss it for want of merit and for being frivolous.
SOURCE : TODAY