The Federal High Court in Abuja today was told that the weapons found in the Asokoro residence of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Muhammadu Sambo Dasuki (retd.), barely 48 hours after he left Office in 2015 belong to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The weapons were said to be for the use of the Security Details attached to him as the National Security Adviser (NSA) for protection purposes.
These were contained in Dasuki’s statement made to the operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) tendered and admitted as exhibit by Justice Adeniyi Ademola in the ongoing trial of Dasuki on charges of unlawful possession of arms.
A prosecution witness, Mr. Samuel Ogbu who is an operative of DSS indicated this when he was asked to read in the open court the statement made by Dasuki during his interrogation by DSS before he was charged to court.
Under cross examination by counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), the witness said that Dasuki in his statement confirmed that the weapons were for the ONSA and for the protection of the NSA.
The witness also said that Dasuki claimed in his written statement that the weapons were to be returned to the ONSA by the security details at the end of the day.
Ogwu who was asked by Dasuki’s lawyer to read a portion of the statement of the defendant to the open court admitted that Dasuki in the first paragraph of his statement made it clear that the weapons belong to the ONSA and not his personal belonging.
The witness further said he could not remember the date Dasuki left office as NSA but, however, insisted that the interrogation was conducted after he had left office.
Answering another question, the witness, who claimed to have spent 34 years in the service admitted that the NSA is entitled to security details as the coordinator of activities for all security agencies in the country.
Also under cross examination, the witness admitted that he had never being to the armory of the Nigerian Army, Airforce, Navy, Police, National Intelligence Agency and DMI and would not know whether the weapons found in Dasuki’s house were issued to him by any of the agencies.
“I am aware that the Office of the NSA coordinates the activities of all security agencies in this country; comprising Police, Army, Air force, Navy, DSS, and DMI among others and my evidence in this trial relates only to what happens in the DSS.”
Earlier in his evidence in Chief, the witness had claimed that the house of Dasuki was searched based on intelligence report and that some weapons including powerful rifles were recovered.
He said that as a follow-up to the recovery, he was invited to participate in the interrogation of Dasuki to know the ownership of the weapons and for what purposes they were meant in the house.
The witness claimed that the interrogation was freely conducted and fully recorded with electronic gadgets and that Dasuki’s statement was also recorded when it was being made voluntarily.
Led in evidence by the counsel to the Federal, Government, Chief Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), the witness said that the DSS decided to interrogate the ex-NSA on the weapons because of their sophistication.
The witness added that ordinarily, such weapons were not usually issued to ordinary individuals because of their capacities and that licence were not usually issued to individuals to purchase or carry them.
Ogwu told the court that parts of the guns, Tavor Assault Rifles were imported into the country by the Federal Government following the crises of the insurgency, especially Boko Haram so as to enable the country’s security personnel to have an edge over terrorists.