A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday fixed Tuesday, Nov. 3, to deliver ruling on whether or not to try the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki rtd secretly as demanded by the Federal Government in order to ensure the security and protection of its witnesses that will testify against Dasuki.
The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola is also slated to deliver ruling on the application by the ex-NSA for the release of his traveling passport to travel out of the country for three weeks to treat an undisclosed ailment.
The Street Journal recalls that Dasuki is standing trial for alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Shuab Labaran, in his submission claimed that his witnesses may refuse to appear in court to testify unless they are allowed to wear facial masks and their identities kept away from the public while only lawyers and accredited journalists should also be allowed to witness the trial.
Mr Joseph Daudu, SAN, however objected to the application on the ground that the names and other identities of the witnesses have already been placed at the public domain by the Federal Government itself through so many documents released to the public on the trial.
In the application for permission to travel abroad for medical attention argued by his counsel, Daudu argued that Dasuki was suffering from a sickness that required attention of his medical doctors abroad.
He urged the court to grant the application and order the release of his client’s passport from the custody of the Registrar of the Court.
Daudu, who vouched for Dasuki, said his client will return after the treatment and will deposit the passport back in the court’s authority.
He further argued that an accused person was presumed innocent in spite of the criminal charges against him and that since only the living could stand trial in any law court, it was necessary that the accused person be allowed to go for the medical attention.
Opposition the application, counsel to the Federal Government, Mr. Mohammed Diri, submitted that the sickness being complained of by the accused person was the type that could be successfully treated at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Diri contended that the three weeks period being sought by the accused to spend abroad was a ploy to delay his trial on charges of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering.
Besides, the prosecution claimed that Dasuki is being investigated in another fresh case bordering on money laundering and might escape if allowed to travel out of the country.
He further contended that the traveling passport of the accused was the only condition used in granting him bail and that if the passport was released, the accused may bolt away since he had no surety in the bail condition.
Justice Ademola, after hearing arguments from both parties, fixed Nov. 3 for ruling on the two applications.