The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed March 1 to rule on a fresh application by the Federal Government seeking protection of witnesses in the trial of ex-National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The application dated January 23, and filed on 24 January, was argued by counsel to the Federal Government, Dipo Okpeseyi, who prayed the court to allow the witnesses use acronyms instead of their real names.
He said that the prosecution wanted the witnesses to be known to the public by acronyms such as “xyz” and that only the court would know the true identity and name of each witness.
Okpeseyi further told the court that it was the understanding of the prosecution that the defence would not object to the application.
He said the prosecution was, however, surprised in court on Tuesday when the defence, led by Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), served him with a counter-motion objecting to the application for protection of witnesses.
Okpeseyi prayed the court for a short adjournment to study the counter-motion, saying it was voluminous and had to be studied carefully before replying.
Raji said that he was not opposing the application for an adjournment.
He said, “The motion was brought to us late on Thursday and we prepared our counter-affidavit and served on them only this morning, so we will not object to the adjournment sought by Okpeseyi to enable him respond.”
Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the matter till March 1 for hearing.
Dasuki in this case, is facing charges of unlawful possession of fire arms preferred against him by the Department of State Security.
The case was previously before Justice Adeniyi Ademola, but following his arrest by the DSS, he said he would no longer handle any matter involving the service hence its transfer to Justice Mohammed.
The application for witness protection was brought before Ademola, but he refused the application, saying that there was nothing to hide since the names of the witnesses were already on the internet.