Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Court orders FG to release Dasuki’s passport

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the release of the passport of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), to enable him to travel to London, the United Kingdom, for three weeks on health grounds.
Dasuki is facing five counts of illegal arms possession and money laundering involving about N84.6m, but the prosecution said on Monday that there was a possibility of preferring additional charges against him.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, while granting Dasuki’s application for the release of his passport in a ruling on Tuesday, dismissed the objection by the Federal Government which argued among other grounds that the cancer ailment which the ex-NSA sought to treat abroad could be treated in Nigeria.

But in granting the application, the court attached new conditions to the bail earlier granted to the defendant on self-recognition after his arraignment on September 1, 2015.

The condition now attached to the bail requires the ex-NSA to produce a surety who must swear to an affidavit of consent to an imprisonment in the event that the defendant absconds, till the period he is re-arrested.

In the alternative, the court ruled that the senior counsel representing the ex-NSA on record should sign an undertaking to produce his client in court on the next hearing date on November 26.

The court also ordered Dasuki to return the passport to the registrar of the court within 72 hours of return to the country.

The judge also fixed ruling on the prosecution’s application for protection of witnesses for November 26.

The court ruled that “whatever is the outcome of the prosecution’s application, trial will commence immediately after the ruling is delivered on November 26.”

Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), had at the hearing of his client’s application on Monday anchored the application dated October 23, 2015 on provisions of section 36(5) and 36(6) of the 1999 Constitution and section 173(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

He urged Justice Ademola to consider the decision of the Court of Appeal on similar application by a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, and grant his client’s application.

He said the application was necessary to keep with an earlier appointment which his client had with the UK hospital and in view of the defendant’s “deteriorating health conditions.”



By: Ade Adesomoju
      (Punch News) 

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