A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted former National Security Adviser [NSA] Colonel Sambo Dasuki [retd.] bail on self-recognition.
Colonel Dasuki was arraigned under a single charge of illegal possession of firearms, a charge to which he pleaded not guilty.
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.
Also recovered were 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 reads:
“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 a 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.”
On August 24, 2015, the Department of State Security Service (DSS) had issued a statement that it had charged the former NSA with the alleged offense.
Dasuki’s trial, which was expected to have commenced last week, was delayed following the directive by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to various heads of federal courts 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.
Dasuki’s case file had been assigned to Justice Ademola for trial by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta.
According to the charge sheet, Dasuki is specifically charged 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.
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