Law News
Five witnesses to testify against Dasuki

The Federal Government has proposed five witnesses to prove its case of illegal possession of firearms against a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

The ex-NSA was arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.

The five government witnesses, according to the prosecution’s list of witnesses, are operatives of the Department of State Services, who were part of the search operation conducted at Dasuki’s residence at 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja, on July 16, 2015.

The arms were said to have been recovered from the house.

Our correspondent, on Wednesday, obtained a copy of the prosecution’s list of witnesses together with the affidavit of completion of investigation, the case summary and proof of evidence, which were all attached to the charge sheet.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola had on Tuesday granted Dasuki bail on self-recognition shortly after he pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was said to have violated provisions of section 27(1)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

When the trial starts on October 26, the prosecution will call the leader of the search team at Dasuki’s residence, Dahiru Dodo, and the investigating officer in the case, Musa Duniyo, as part of its witnesses.

The three other DSS operatives, who have also been proposed as prosecution witnesses, are Ali Gurara, Samuel Ogbu and Franklyn Usman.

The items, which were allegedly recovered from Dasuki’s residence, included “five Tavor assault rifles; one Macro Uzi rifle with serial number 60244; 20 magazine (ammunition); one packet of Ministry of Defence APG Calibre gun; and one Luger gun with number 033373.”

Others are “small magazine containing 16 rounds of ammunition; bigger magazine containing live rounds of ammunition; one magazine with 16 rounds of live 9mm ammunition and 36 rounds of live ammunition.”

Some of the items were said to have been recovered from his Range Rover car with Abuja number plate RBC 517 JN.

The former NSA pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Justice Ademola on Tuesday. The judge subsequently granted him bail and fixed October 26 and 27 for the commencement of trial.

The Director, Directorate of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Mohammad Diri, who signed the list of witnesses, stated that the five witnesses would give eyewitness accounts of how the search operation was conducted and how the items were recovered.

He added that Ogbu interviewed the Dasuki at the residence where the search was conducted and that Duniyo, in addition to giving an eyewitness account of the search operation, would tender exhibits for the prosecution.

One of the proposed witnesses, Duniyo, deposed in the affidavit of completion of investigation that “investigation into the matter has been concluded.”

“That I was informed by M.S Diri, the Director for Public Prosecutions of the Federation, who is the lead counsel handling this case in his office on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at about 2pm that the investigation has established prima facie case against the defendant (Dasuki),” Duniyo added in the affidavit.

In the prosecution’s case summary, Diri, who signed the document, stated that the prosecution “shall lead evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant based on credible and undisputed facts.”

While granting bail to the defendant on Tuesday, Justice Ademola ordered that Dasuki should deposit his diplomatic passport and other travelling documents with the court’s Deputy Registrar, Litigation.

The judge also ordered that “Dasuki’s travelling documents, which might be currently in the custody of any government agency, should be retrieved and deposited with the court.”

The judge thereafter adjourned till October 26 and 27 for trial to begin.

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