Witnesses billed to testify against former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, must be protected and not made to testify in open court, the Federal Government insisted on Thursday.
Mr. Dasuki is being tried in court by the Department of State Services, DSS, for alleged unlawful possession of fire arms.
Making the argument before Justice Ademola Adeniyi of a Federal High Court, Abuja, prosecution lawyer, Dipo Okpeseyi, claimed that allowing the witnesses to give their testimony in open court may pose a risk to their lives by loyalists of the former NSA, who are currently serving in the military.
According to the prosecution, the defendant, who is a retired colonel of the Nigerian Army and prince of the Sokoto Caliphate, is a well-known figure in all spheres of Nigeria’s military, therefore, allowing the witnesses to testify openly against him in court could portend grave danger to them.
Mr. Okpeseyi further alleged that sophisticated firearms were discovered from the defendant – evidence that he was constituting a threat to national security.
Reacting to the argument by the prosecution, counsel to the defendant, Joseph Daudu (SAN), prayed the court to dismiss the application, as there was no basis for the allegations.
After listening to arguments from both sides, Justice Adeniyi adjourned to September 13 to 15 for ruling.
It would be recalled that since the beginning of Mr. Dasuki’s trial last November, the prosecution has had three of its applications before the same court, demanding the protection of its witnesses thrown out.