Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), told a Federal High Court in Abuja that he was being punished by persons at the highest level of power for perceived grievances held against him while in active military service many years ago.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, yesterday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that witnesses against Dasuki must be protected.
Dasuki, who did not name any person, said punishment being meted out to him was borne out of vendetta.
Speaking through his counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), Dasuki told the court: “It is clear that the defendant (Dasuki) is being punished by the powers that be for the perceived offences committed long before. We leave them to the Almighty God for his ultimate judgment.”
Dasuki had been arraigned before three different high courts for various allegations and was granted bail but rearrested in December last year by the Federal Government and has since been held incommunicado.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the Federal Government had approached the court, seeking secret trial of Dasuki who is facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, money laundering and breach of trust.
In the fresh motion argued by the prosecuting counsel, Chief Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), government prayed the court to allow witnesses give evidence behind the screen to be provided by the court.
He held that the request hinged on the fact that Dasuki, as a former top security chief, has large loyalists across the country who may jeopardise the trial if done in the open.
Okpeseyi cited the case of the government witness who was involved in an accident, stating, however, that as much as he would not allude that Dasuki had a hand in the accident, it heightened the need to have witnesses protected by the court.
However, counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daudu (SAN), vehemently opposed the request for secret trial of Dasuki. His argument was that it will breach the principle of fair trial.
He added that contrary to the position of the government, Dasuki cannot be a threat to the witnesses as he has been in government custody since December last year.
Daudu argued that open trial is the minimum requirement in a criminal trial and, as such, any attempt to opt for a secret trial in the instant case, which was not a capital offense, will run contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution on fair trial.
Justice Ademola, after taking argument from both parties, fixed ruling and continuation of trial for September 13, 14 and 15.