Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a federal high court sitting in Abuja has granted bail on self-recognition to former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, alleged to have been in possession of firearms without authorisation.
The judge arrived at this decision on Tuesday, shortly after Dasuki pleaded not guilty to the charge made against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
The alleged offence according to the Federal Ministry of Justice is in violation of the provision of 27(1) (a) (i) of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
While delivering ruling of the former NSA’s application for bail, Justice Ademola directed Dasuki to deposit his diplomatic passport, alongside his other traveling documents to the court’s Deputy Registrar in charge of litigation.
This, the judge maintained is the only condition with which the former security chief could be granted bail. The court further ordered that Dasuki’s traveling documents in the custody of any government agency in the country should be withdrawn with immediate effect and same be deposited with the court.
Dasuki who had earlier being arraigned before the court, was accused to have allegedly being in possession without license; five Tavor riffles, 20 magazines, five rifle slings, five packets of servicing kit, one packet of MOD AP9 Cal. 9mm Luger No. 033373, small magazine containing 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition and bigger magazine containing 23 five rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Others include: one Macro Uzi with serial No 60244, one magazine with 16 rounds of live 9mm ammunition and 36 rounds of live 9mm.
Some of the items were said to have been recovered from his Range Rover car with number plate Abuja RBC 517 JN.
The exhibits were alleged to have been recovered when security operatives carried out a search of his residence located at 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja on July 16, 2015.
Arguing his bail application, Dasuki’s lead lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN) described the charge as looking “very simple, but it is a very slippery charge.”
The SAN further argued that the former NSA ought to be granted bail so as to be able to defend himself effectively. The senior lawyer also told the court that the alleged offence was a bailable one, with an addition that since the prosecution had revealed that investigation on the matter had been completed, then there would be no need to entertain fears that Dasuki would interfere with investigation.
On its part, the Federal Ministry of Justice, led by M.S Diri”Ž who did not raise any opposition to the bail application only requested that the court apply its discretion while granting the bail.
According to him, “The offence for which the defendant was arraigned before this court is a bailable offence. The prosecution intends to leave the issue of bail to the discretion of this honourable court. We did not file counter-affidavit because we are not opposing the bail application.”
The matter has been adjourned till October 26 for trial.