SAN FRANCISCO, January 31, (THEWILL) – 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 who is facing charges of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering.
The fresh application, filed on January 24, was brought to court by Chief Oladipo Okpeseyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), recently engaged by the government to lead the prosecution, praying 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.
However, this was opposed by Ahmed Raji, counsel to Dasuki, asking the court to dismiss the government’s motion because it lacked merit and was an abuse of court process arguing 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.
Dasuki reminded the Court that when the first application, argued by the then Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Mohamed Diri, was brought before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same court, it was dismissed because the witnesses were already known by the public having given their names through the internet.
He argued 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.
Responding, Okpeseyi, 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 and 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.