Court dismisses FG’s objection to Dasuki’s medical trip
The Federal High Court, Abuja Division yesterday dismissed Federal Government’s objection to the request of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) for release of his international passport and other travelling documents for the purpose of going abroad for medical attention.
On September 1, 2015 when Dasuki was arraigned on a one- count charge of money laundering before it was expanded to include illegal possession of arms, the court had confiscated his said passport and other travelling documents as a condition precedent to admitting him on bail on self recognition.
But following claims of medical need, Dasuki, through his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) has since approached the court with an application, seeking release of his travelling documents. However, FG’s counsel and Director of Public Prosecution, Mohammed Diri, opposed the application.
Delivering his ruling on Dasuki’s request, the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, held that the constitutional presumption of innocence and the fact that only the living could stand trial were in favour of granting of the former NSA’s request.
Accordingly, Justice Ademola granted the former NSA a period of three weeks “to take care of his health.”
Consequently, he ordered the court registrar to release the travel documents of the former NSA, upon perfection of the condition attached to his ruling, which includes a surety, who will write an undertaking to produce the accused person on the next adjourned date failure to do so, the surety would stand trial in Dasuki’s stead.
In the alternative, Justice Ademola ordered any of the senior counsel to the accused person to sign an undertaking to take his place, before the international passport of the accused is released. Trial has been adjourned till November 26 and 27, 2015.
At the resumed hearing, Prosecution counsel, Diri, told the court that instead of the one- count charge against Dasuki, the charge had been expanded to include illegal possession of various amounts of local and foreign currencies in his Abuja residence and family house in Sokoto, contrary to Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
On Monday, in spite of the DPP’s objection, Daudu had prayed the court to release the travel documents of the accused to him so that he would be able to travel abroad for medical check-up.
According to him, Dasuki was billed to travel a day before his arrest for medical treatment but the arrest and trial have so far prevented him from doing so.
The prosecution opposed the release of Dasuki’s passport while insisting on the need for a secret trial of the accused.
After taking arguments on both applications, Justice Ademola, who had earlier granted Dasuki bail on self recognition, reserved his decision till yesterday, Tuesday, November 3, 2015, a decision which has now gone in favour of the accused.