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Group Faults Planned Secret Trial Of Former NSA, Dasuki

Dasuki

Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)

WORRIED by the recent application for the secret trial of the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) by the Federal Government, a group, the Civil Society Watch, yesterday faulted the move.

In a statement after its meeting in Owerri, Imo State, the group condemned the application made before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The statement, signed by the groups Chancellor, Melford Wariboko and member, Dr. Amanze Obi, said both the intention and application made by the Federal Government were faulty and against democratic norms.

They wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which emerged democratically by populist mandate, would apply for the secret trial of a Nigerian citizen.

According to the group, the move was against fair hearing.

The statement reads: “The application by the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja for the secret trial of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, has come under severe criticism from groups and individuals.

“Dasuki is standing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja for illegal possession of firearms. But the Federal Government on Monday slammed additional charges on him and applied for a secret trial in which its witnesses will use special court rooms where they will be shielded from public glare. The witnesses, according to government’s application, will wear facial masks and bear pseudonyms so that they will not come under reprisal attack from any quarters.

“We read with dismay and utter disbelief the application by the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja for a secret trial of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki ( rtd). We are astounded by this strange application.

“It is surprising, to say the least, that such a vexatious application should emanate from government quarters. It is much more so coming from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, which came into office on the wings of popular acclaim. Our expectation is that such a popularly elected government will toe the path of populism by ensuring that it hides nothing from the people. Regrettably, the new government appears to have so much to hide, and that may explain why it is applying for secret trial of a Nigerian citizen.

“We reject this brazen assault on the basic freedom of Dasuki and the right of Nigerians to know and urge government to drop that primitive idea forthwith. We need not remind government that Dasuki remains innocent until proven guilty. Opting to try him in secret is suggestive of something sinister.”



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