The Federal Government will on Tuesday (tomorrow)arraign a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), before a Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly being in possession of firearms without license, The PUNCHlearnt on Sunday.
The Department of State Security Service had, in a statement by one of its officials, Tony Opuiyo, on August 24, 2015, said that it had charged Dasuki with the alleged offence.
The service did not disclose details of the charge but our correspondent learnt that the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, had on Friday assigned the case to Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who is the court’s vacation judge.
The DSS said it had charged Dasuki with possession of firearms without licence, an offence punishable under section 27(I)(a)(I) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, based on evidence so far obtained.
Findings by our correspondent showed that the Federal Ministry of Justice had since taken over the case.
It was learnt that the trial ought to have commenced last week but it could not go on because of the directive of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmmud Mohammed, to various heads of court not to sit throughout the week to enable lawyers and interested judges to participate in the just-concluded one week-long Annual Bar Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.
The DSS had on July 16, 2015 searched the ex-NSA’s residences in Asokoro, Abuja; and Sokoto, where its operatives claimed to have recovered seven high calibre rifles, including magazines and military gears in the houses located at 13, John Khadya Street, and 46, Nelson Mandela Street, both at Asokoro, Abuja; and 3 Sabon Birni Road, Gwiwa Area, Sokoto, Sokoto State.
The agency also said that it recovered 12 new vehicles, including five bullet-proof cars from Dasuki’s house, the ownership of which could not be explained by the embattled former NSA, and which investigators believed must have been purchased with proceeds of corruption.
The DSS had claimed that it searched Dasuki’s homes “based on credible intelligence linking the immediate past NSA with alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.”
The statement partly read, “You may recall that on July 16, 2015, the Department of State Services carried out search operations on properties belonging to the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd.), in Abuja and Sokoto.
“This action was necessitated by credible intelligence, which linked him to acts capable of undermining national security. The search operations led to the recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition among other things and for which further investigation was conducted.
“Consequently, on Monday, August 24, 2015, he was charged to court based on evidence so far obtained, but which relates to possession of firearms without licence punishable under section 27(i)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.”
The secret service said Dasuki’s arraignment was in line with democratic practice and “our avowed commitment to the rule of law, in which nobody is deemed to be above the law, no matter how highly placed in the society.”