‘Why DSS re-arrested Dasuki’
ALTHOUGH the Department of State Services (DSS) has not provided an official position, indications have emerged that former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), is being deliberately detained in order for him not to tamper with investigations into his case.
This became obvious yesterday when operatives of the DSS re-arrested the retired military colonel after he had fulfilled his bail conditions granted by Justice Peter Affem of an Abuja High Court. This would be the third of his re-arrests after being granted bail. The security agency, which has been operating without an identified spokesperson since the removal of Marilyn Ogar, has not given reasons for its action.
Counsel to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji (SAN) confirmed to PRNigeria, a security online platform, that “the former NSA had met all the bail conditions given by Justice Affem” but regretted that “the court order was not obeyed by the operatives of the SSS.”
Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja had granted the ex-NSA bail on November 3 when he was first arraigned and charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
The DSS had laid siege to Dasuki’s Asokoro house for days, claiming he was being investigated for another matter, even though he was supposedly billed to travel for medical checkup abroad. Dasuki was later arraigned before Justice Yusuf Baba of another Abuja High court on breach of trust, and though was granted bail, was again re-arrested by the security operatives.
Dasuki was again moved to another high court presided over by Justice Peter Affem who also admitted him on bail on the grounds that the offences he was charged with were bailable, the conditions for which he just met only to be rearrested after he was released from Kuje Prison in Abuja.
A source, however, told The Guardian that the security agencies would not allow Dasuki to go on bail in order to protect the witnesses that government had lined up to aid the prosecution, saying the directive “from above” was clear on it.
“The plan is to ensure that he stays within the radar, so our operatives are detailed to watch him 24/7. Initially, it was to gather evidence. Now that has been achieved along with the acquisition of witnesses, who were ready before now, to testify under cover, but have been unmasked by a group of Dasuki loyalists.
“So he must not be allowed to hear from these private investigators, who are also close to the former NSA. He cannot be allowed that freedom now, the reason being that the lives of some of these prosecution witnesses may be at risk if he is allowed to go back home,” the source said.
The Federal Government’s prosecutors had requested the court in November to allow some witnesses to testify under cover to protect them, a request which was vehemently opposed by the accused’s lawyers.
The Guardian learnt that most of the witnesses have been uncovered by the Dasuki network and are now foot-dragging to testify against their benefactor, even though they were promised adequate protection thereafter.
With the turn of events, the new strategy is to convince some of them to go ahead and testify even if it is going to be an open trial, with the assurance of a means of livelihood.
Also, security operatives have been detailed to know those who work with the former NSA, outside government office, his personal associates and staff, both covert and known.
To this end, the government is said to be exploiting all avenues, including the perceived unlawful, to keep Dasuki in detention, or under house arrest, in order to keep track of his associates, who come to visit him and interact with him.
According to the online platform, the counsel, Raji “who perfected the bail condition of his client disclosed that the action of the security agents was an affront to the rule of law under democracy.
“The lawyer appealed to the security agents and the Federal Government to respect court orders and allow Dasuki to enjoy the bail granted him by a law court of the country.”