Detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (retd) was on Thursday re-arraigned before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja on seven counts criminal charges bordering on illegal and unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition as well as for money laundering offences.
Before his re-arraignment, Dasuki was, on September 1, 2015 arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same court on a 5-count criminal charge.
Specifically, in count one, the Federal Government alleged that Dasuki, on or before July 17, 2015, was in possession of prohibited firearms without license, and by so doing had committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearm Act Cap F28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Dasuki was accused of being in possession of 5 Tavor X95 Assault Rifles without requisite license, an offence that is punishable under Section 28 (1) (a) of Firearms Act.
The Federal Government also alleged in count two that Dasuki, in his residence at No. 13 John Khalifa street Asokoro, Abuja, on or about July 17, 2015, was found in illegal possession of one (1) Macro Uzi Assault Rifle with serial number 60244 without request licence, an offence punishable under Section 28(1) (a) of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, LFN 2004.
He was also said to be in illegal possession of one (1) Luger Rifle with serial number 033373 without licence, while in count four, he was accused of stealing contrary to Section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act and punishable under Section 390(5) of same Act.
Counts six and seven bordered on alleged money laundering offences to the tune of $190,000 and N42million found in his residence.
According to count six, Dasuki, on or about 17th July 2015 at his Abuja residence, was found to be in unlawful possession of the sum of 40,000USD; N5million, and 20,000pounds sterling.
The Federal Government claimed that the monies were part of proceeds of unlawful act, and therefore had committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended.
Count seven alleged that Dasuki, in his Sokoto residence, on or about 16th July 2015, was found to be possession of 150,000USD; N37million, “which forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.
Though he denied all the charges, the prosecution counsel, Oladipo Opeseyi, urged the court hat having been arraigned before, “the charge number is still the same, we therefore ask the court that existed bail terms be applied.”
More so, Opeseyi informed the court of his application “witness protection” and told the trial judge, that the application was heard by Justice Ademola, “but he could not deliver ruling due to obvious reason and circumstances.
The prosecution counsel insisted that the motion, having been filed earlier, “must be known and determined”.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed held that in line with Opeseyi’s position, bail conditions granted the defendant still apply and adjourned till May 11, 2017 for hearing of the Federal Government’s application seeking shielding of witnesses.