Court okays ‘secret trial’ for Dasuki


A federal high court in Abuja has granted the request of the government for the shielding of witnesses in the trial of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA).

The government, which is prosecuting Dasuki for money laundering, had through its counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi asked Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, to order the shielding of its witnesses in the trial for their own safety.

The prosecution led by Okpeseyi had argued that some of its witnesses were former staff of Dasuki, and that they could be at risk if there identities were made public. According to him, the defendant has sympathisers across the country by virtue of the sensitive position he held in government.

But in defence, Ahmed Raji, counsel to the accused person, asked the court to dismiss the request because it was baseless. He said his client was not facing terrorism or treason charges; hence it is pointless shielding witnesses in his trial.

However, in his ruling, Mohammed held that the offence for which Dasuki was being prosecuted required the protection of witnesses according to law.

He, therefore, ordered that prosecution witnesses be shielded  with a screen during trial.

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