By Gbenga Ogundare
Legal Counsel to embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Mr. Ahed Raji SAN has said that Dasuki cannot in any material ALSOfact be said to be a fugitive since he lawfully retired as an officer of the Nigerian Army.
Raji said that Dasuki legally left the Army in 1994 adding that his exit in the military was officially gazetted by the Federal government through the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999.
Raji, who was responding to an allegation that the former NSA, currently in detention at the Department of State Service (DSS), on alleged breach of Army service rule, was a fugitive, explained that the allegation was a fallacy and a concocted lie to confuse the court as the prosecution has no answer to the well-grounded objection raised by the defence.
Raji further said; “The allegation of fugitive against Dasuki cannot hold water or stand in the face of the law in view of the official gazette of the Federal Government that confirmed his retirement from the military.
“It is curious that the prosecution counsel, who initially claimed ignorance of the reason behind the denial of bail is now coming up with these excuses. I am tempted to believe that my learned friend Mr. Rotimi Jacob SAN must be genuinely mixing-up facts or mistake of identity.
“The allegation is baseless, unwarranted and malicious because his exit was in the gazette of the Federal government. We accordingly urge those holding Dasuki in custody in flagrant disobedience to the court order that granted him bail to have a rethink and respect the rule of law.”
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the trial of Dasuki on alleged money laundering, Mr. Rotimi Jacob last Thursday told Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf that Dasuki was being detained by the DSS because of his past records in the military.
Jacob specifically told the court that Dasuki went on an exile for seven years adding that during the period he allegedly breached the army service rules.