Armsgate: Fresh controversies over Dasuki’s military service

Armsgate: Fresh controversies over Dasuki’s military service

Sunday, February 7, 2016 6:09 pm

Sambo Dasuki

Sambo Dasuki

Ayorinde Oluokun

How did the immediate past National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired) who is being tried for corrupt dealings and diversion of $2.1 billion meant for purchase of arms for the Nigerian Armed Forces currently engaged in the battle against insurgent group, Boko Haram left the Army?

This was one of the controversies sparked off by Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecuting counsel at the last hearing of the suit against the retired Colonel at Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court last Thursday.

Jacobs had attributed the refusal of government to set the former NSA free, in spite of the bail he has been granted by three different courts to this military past.

The prosecuting counsel had told the court that Dasuki was a fugitive, having run away from the Army without proper resignation.

Jacobs added that the Ex-NSA is being currently held by the Department of State Service (DSS) on alleged breach of army service rule.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria who is the counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the trial of Dasuki on alleged money laundering, told Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf that Dasuki was being detained by DSS in spite of the bail granted him by the judge because of his past in the military.

Jacob specifically told the court that Dasuki went on an exile for seven years and that during the period he allegedly breached the army service rules.

But Ahmed Raji, Dasuki lead counsel disputed the claims.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria in a statement published on PRNigeria on Sunday said his client legally left the Army in 1994 and his exit in the military was officially gazetted by the Federal government through the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999.

Raji (SAN) therefore claimed that the allegation was a fallacy and a concocted lie to confuse the court as the prosecution has no answer to the well-grounded objection raised by the defence.

The lawyer claimed that “the allegation of fugitive against Dasuki cannot hold water or stand in the face of the law in view of the official gazette of the Federal Government that confirmed his retirement from the military.

“It is curious that the prosecution counsel who initially claimed ignorance of the reason behind the denial of bail is now coming up with these excuses… I am tempted to believe that my learned friend Mr. Rotimi Jacob SAN must be genuinely mixing-up facts or mistake of identity.”

The lawyer further added: “The allegation is baseless, unwarranted and malicious because his exit was in the gazette of the Federal government. We accordingly urge those holding Dasuki in the custody in flagrant disobedience to the court order that granted him bail to have a rethink and respect the rule of law.”

Meanwhile PRNigeria, a website usually used by the government agencies and military for dissemination of information said it gathered that former military dictator, late General Sani Abacha, held Dasuki in contempt and marked him down for persecution, when he (Dasuki) opened up his mind on the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election and that the winner of the election, late MKO Abiola be installed as Nigerian President.

“Dasuki was among the officer who confronted Late Sani Abacha and insisted that MKO Abiola be freed and allowed to become President over the June 12, 1993 President election. This led to the premature retirement of Dasuki and other officers in 1994.

“The persecution that followed forced him into exile where he joined forces with other patriotic Nigerians to claim for the return of democracy in Nigeria.

“Some top politicians in the current administration also fled into exile to sustain campaigns for the enthronement of democracy. Dasuki and others were declared wanted by the Abacha’s police.

PR Nigeria however noted in an official Gazette No 33 Volume 86, Dasuki was granted clemency and pardon along with others on March 4, 1999 by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, the then Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for their innocence and meritorious service to their fatherland

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