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Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed an application by the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), seeking an order discharging him of charges preferred against him and another order prohibiting the Federal Government from further prosecuting him.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in a ruling, held that the application lacked merit as same contained prayers that were not grantable by any court.
The Tuesday’s ruling is the third following previous rulings of two other judges of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, dismissing similar applications filed by Dasuki in respect of two sets of separate charges preferred against him.
However, Justice Ademola in a separate ruling on Tuesday, dismissed a separate application by the Federal Government seeking protection of its 11 listed witnesses whom it said were afraid of appearing to testify in the case for fear of reprisal.
He held that the prosecution failed to establish the grounds for granting such application which sought permission to shield the identities of their witnesses during trial.
The Federal Government is prosecuting Dasuki before the court on four counts of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
Dasuki however filed the application dated February 11, 2016, asking the court to prohibit the government from prosecuting him on the basis that the government had disobeyed the orders granting him bail and permitting him to embark on a medical trip abroad.
He also asked the court to discharge him of the alleged crimes or in the alternative order the court to stay proceedings pending when the prosecution would comply with the said orders.
He claimed that his continued detention in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 29, 2015, amounted to the Federal Government being in contempt of the court orders.
Dasuki was by the first court order granted bail on September 1, 2015 and was by another made on November 3, 2015 granted permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Justice Ademola in dismissing the application on Tuesday held that the defence lawyers, Messrs Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria, had failed to follow the laid down procedure through which the court would be able to make findings on whether the prosecution was in contempt of the court orders.
The judge, who described Dasuki’s application as strange, also held that no court in Nigeria could either compel the Federal Government to prosecute a suspect or prohibit it from prosecuting an accused person.
He also held that it was too early in the day to make an order discharging the accused when his trial had yet to commence.
He upheld the argument by the lead prosecution lawyer, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), to the effect that the application was strange in the country’s jurisprudence.
He added, “It is settled that no court of law will make an order compelling the complainant (FRN) to prosecute or from further prosecuting a criminal charge.
“At the same time, no court of law can make an order prohibiting the Federal Government of Nigeria from prosecuting or further prosecuting any charge in this country or any court of law. If there are issues of contempt, the proper procedure must be followed.”
The judge adjourned till May 18 for commencement of trial.
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Source: Punch News