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    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    Court Counters SSS, Says No Masked Witnesses Against Ex-NSA Dasuki

    A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed an application by the State Security Service, SSS, to use masked witnesses against a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is on trial for alleged corruption and illegal possession of firearms.

    The SSS had asked Justice Adeniyi Ademola to allow the use of masked witnesses against Mr. Dasuki.
    But the court dismissed the application.
    The judge said the SSS had in its charges listed the names and addresses of 11 witnesses to be called to testify against Mr. Dasuki, and that the list had been made available to the general public.

    He said there was no need therefore for witnesses’ identities to be concealed.
    Mr. Ademola also said there was no basis to all witnesses wear special masks, bear pseudo names and addresses because the charges against Mr. Dasuki was not terrorism-related and that there was no information that the life of any of the witnesses to be called was being threatened by anybody of group.

    Mr. Dasuki is facing a four-count charge of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
    The court on Tuesday also dismissed an application challenging his arrest and detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

    The judge also dismissed another application by Mr. Dasuki for the charge on possession of firearms to be dropped.
    Mr. Dasuki had described the charge as illegal and a breach of his right.
    In his ruling, however, Mr. Ademola held that Mr. Dasuki had the legal right to challenge the proceedings of the court if he felt unsatisfied with its proceedings.
    He however noted that the case would not be stopped, as pleaded by Mr. Dasuki, since the former NSA had no cogent reason for the application.
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