Dasuki is a competent witness, must testify in Metuh’s trial – Appeal court

Ebun Francis || An Abuja Division of the Appeal Court h on Friday ordered that Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Advisor be made to appear in the trial of former Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson, Olisa Metuh.

In giving the order, the appellate court set aside the decision of the Federal High Court, which refused to compel Mr. Dasuki’s appearance.

The lower court presided over by Justice Okon Abang had refused an application by Mr. Metuh to compel Mr. Dasuki to appear in court.

Mr. Metuh’s lawyers had argued that Mr. Dasuki was a required witness since the money their client was accused of mismanaging came from his office.

Justice Peter Ige in his ruling aligned with the position of Metu’s lawyer stating that the desire of the lower court to ensure a speedy trial of the criminal matter should not override the need for justice in the matter.

“A suspect is entitled to equal right and opportunity of being heard,” said Mr. Ige. “The waiver of fair hearing is a waiver of justice,” he added.

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According to Mr. Ige, the conclusion of the lower court that Mr. Dasuki was not a compellable witness beckons on the need to address the factors that make a witness ‘compellable or non-compellable’ in a trial.

Continuing, Mr. Ige said a witness must be competent to be regarded as compellable.

“Competence implies legal capacity qualification or fitness. Persons who can be regarded as non-compellable are persons who are legally not competent or persons covered by immunity like presidents or governments.

“Sambo Dasuki is not one of those persons covered by immunity neither is he not competent. The powers given to the trial judge by law is not personal to him, but should be used to secure justice,” Mr. Ige said.

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“It is, therefore, a misconception on the part of the trial judge,’ to regard Mr. Dasuki as a non-compellable judge, he said.

“It is my firm view that retired Col. Dasuki whose name features prominently in most of the charges against the appellant is a competent and compellable witness,” the judge said.

The court also ordered the SSS, in whose custody Mr. Dasuki has been for over one year, to provide him at the next date of the trial.