Embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, has again protested his continued detention over alleged misapplication of $15billion arms deal funds domiciled in the Office of the NSA.
Dasuki has been in detention since December last year for his role in the mismanagement of the funds, which was meant to procure arms and other military hardware for troops fighting insurgency in the North East.
The former NSA insisted that he did not act on his own as he only obeyed the directive of the President and Commander-in-Chief, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Dasuki, a retired colonel and Prince of the Caliphate, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside two others on 19-count charge of misappropriation of funds before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja.
He also kicked against the federal government’s plan to try him in closed court, saying since the list of witnesses have become public knowledge, the claim that a secret trial is necessary to protect the identity of some of the witnesses, does not hold water.
Dasuki was quoted by The Nation as telling his associates: “I am ready for trial because they have destroyed my family’s name and my professional integrity, especially how we successfully fought Boko Haram and recovered major towns and cities, not villages. They should let my trial start in earnest to enable Nigerians know the truth from falsehood”.
He continued: I don’t believe in secret trial and there is no basis for it because the government has filed all necessary papers in court and attached the list of witnesses. Since the witnesses have become public knowledge, there is no basis for secret trial”.
The former NSA also queried the rationale for keeping him in custody “without any warrant”, stressing that “Since I was detained in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS), I have not been shown any warrant to this effect or court order.
“I deserve to be shown the warrant of detention by DSS and the purpose for restricting me to house arrest. My detention is unlawful”.
He also urged Nigerians to prevail on the government to admit him to bail in line with the present administration’s commitment to the Rule of Law.
“All those who collected funds from ONSA have been granted bail but I am still in custody. I have been granted bail on all the cases filed against me by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and even DSS, but I have not been released.
“If all the beneficiaries of the so-called funds are on bail, what have I done wrong? Nigerians should help prevail on the government to grant me bail.
“I cannot rock the boat. I am prepared for trial. We did everything with national and security interest”, Dasuki said.
He further stated that he disbursed all the funds credited to ONSA based on the directive of Mr. Jonathan.
“Based on the service rules in the security circle, I owe it a duty to obey the President and Commander-In-Chief. Ex-President Jonathan approved all the expenses incurred by ONSA.
“I am ready to prove in court how we complied with the directive of the ex-president”, he said.