The Federal Government could not persuade the court to agree to its bid to conduct secret trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the charges of unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering brought against him in September 2015.
Presiding judge in the case, Justice Adeniyi Ademola maintained that there was no reason for the witnesses scheduled to be called to testify in the matter to wear masks and bear pseudo names and addresses so as to facilitate their protection.
Ademola revealed that the federal government had in the charge against Dasuki listed the names and addresses of 11 witnesses to be called to testify against him and made same available to the general public and as such there was no basis for any hide and seek game in Dasuki’s trial.
He added that since it was not terrorism charges that are being dealt with and that there was no information that the life of any of the witnesses billed to be called was being threatened by anybody of group, there is no need for secrecy.
The Court held that although, it has discretion to look into such issues of protection of witnesses in a criminal matter, such discretion must be judicially and judiciously used only in cases where threat to life has been established by the prosecution.
Ademola also said that government failed to establish any fact that life of its witnesses was being threatened and as such no court of law would accede to such requests without established reason.
The Judge had earlier on also turned down an application filed by the former NSA asking that the charges brought against him be quashed, because the federal government has continued to keep him in detention in contempt of the court.
In the alternative he ordered the Federal Government and its agents, the Department of States Security Service (DSS) to henceforth allow the detained former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki have access to his lawyers and family members in the interest of justice and the rule of law.
Ademola adjourned trial till 18th and 19th May 2016.