DSS denies withdrawing Dasuki’s military guards
An operative of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Mr. Williams Obiora yesterday told ECOWAS Court that the security details, including soldiers attached to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Muhammad Sambo Dasuki, had not been withdrawn when his Asokoro Residence was searched last year.
Obiora informed the court that a retinue of security agents mainly soldiers was still in the house of the former NSA guarding him when the DSS stormed the house in search of weapons.
He said: “We got to the residence on the said date to discover that there were soldiers who guarded him in the house. Effort to serve him with a search warrant was resisted by the soldiers as they claimed that we would not access him.
So, we contacted our office which liaised with the military highest authority who advised the soldiers to allow us in because we were there legally. Eventually, we had access to the house and we executed the search.”
Led in evidence by Federal Government lawyer, Mr. Damian Agbe, to justify Dasuki’s detention since December 2015, Obiora told the regional court that Dasuki was arrested and kept in custody for two reasons.
“One, for his own personal protection because of some of the politicians implicated in the arms deal from the intelligence available to us.
Two, there is intelligence indicating that he can get out of this country thereby evading justice. These are the two main reasons.”
He said: “In the course of the search, some of the suspected items that took us to the house were recovered. These include five Tavor Assault Rifles and others,” he said.
On whether Dasuki requested DSS for protection, Obiora said he was not aware Dasuki made any such request.
“He does not need to make a request before we give him protection if his life is in danger, and we owe him a responsibility to ensure he suffers no harm.”
When pressed further, Obiora admitted that Dasuki’s detention was not pursuant to any judicial proceedings.
Dasuki’s lawyer, Roberts Emukperuo, however, stated that there was no need keeping Dasuki in protective custody because he never requested protection from the DSS or anybody.
Dasuki’s counsel tendered an affidavit evidence by the DSS confirming that as at August 24, 2015, the DSS had completed the investigation, saying “if it had been concluded there was no need re-arresting him.”
Emukperuo, however, said the oral evidence given by the defence was mostly at variance with the documents filed before the court.
According to him, a party must be consistent in stating, proving and arguing his case.
“He cannot state one case in his pleading and in the process of arguing it, he takes a somersault,” he declared,
Emukperuo further stated that the evidence of Obiora alluded to only two reasons why the applicant was detained.
“He did not mention national security. He said for his own safety and so that he won’t escape. So, the evidence of Obiora did not support the statement of defence because they are at variance,” he added.
Having listened to submissions by both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Friday Nwoke, fixed judgment for June 29.
Dasuki had dragged Federal government before the regional court, claiming that his fundamental right to freedom of liberty was being infringed or trampled upon by his detention since December 2015 without trial.
Also yesterday, the Federal High Court in Abuja was told that no weapon was found in the guest house of Dasuki when it was searched by the operatives of the DSS last year.
At the resumed trial of Dasuki on charges of unlawful possession of firearms, the government witness, Mr. Samuel Ogbu, who was under cross examination confirmed to the court that no incriminating items were found in the guest house by the security agent.
The witness told Justice Adeniyi Ademola that some money was found in Dasuki’s house but that he would not know whether the defendant committed money laundering offence or not because he does not know the definition of money laundering under the law.
Further trial has been adjourned till June 8 and 9 at the instance of Dasuki’s lawyers.