Abuja high court okays secret trial for Dasuki

A federal high court in Abuja presided over by Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Thursday granted federal government’s request that witnesses in the trial of former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuji be shielded from public view.

In his ruling, the Judge said the witnesses would be shielded from the press and the general public but that such witnesses would be visible to him, the defendant, the prosecution as well as members of the defence teams.

Justice Mohammed ruled that the federal government application was in order since Section 232 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 allowed the prosecution to protect its witnesses in cases involving economic and financial crimes.

He said, “Section 232 (4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act permits the use of a screen in a charge of economic and financial crimes, and money laundering is part of the charges instituted against the defendant.

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“Therefore, the request is in order, especially when it has not been shown that it will prejudice against the defendant.”  Mohammed declared.

The judge, therefore, overruled the objection Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), the lead counsel for Col Dasuki, who had argued that the application constituted an abuse of court process.

 

According to him, the shielding of witnesses would not prevent the defence from cross examining them as they would be visible to the defence.

The case was adjourned to Sept. 20 and 21 for the commencement of trial.