From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Department of State Services (DSS) has formally charged former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd) to court over what it termed possession of fire-arms without licence and acts capable of undermining national security.
Although DSS did not specify the name of the court Dasuki, who served in the Jonathan administration, it however, noted that he was charged to court based on evidence so far obtained, but which relates to possession of fire-arms without licence punishable under Section 27(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN 2004.
In a statement signed by Mr Tony Opuiyo, the DSS said: “You may recall that on July 16, 2015, the Department of State Services (DSS), carried out a search operation on properties belonging to the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (retd) in Abuja and Sokoto.
“This action was necessitated by credible intelligence which linked him to acts capable of undermining national security. The search operation led to the recovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition among other things and for which further investigation was conducted.
“Consequently, on Monday, August 24, 2015, he was charged to court based on evidence so far obtained, but which relates to possession of firearms without licence punishable under Section 27(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN2004.
“This is in line with democratic practice and our avowed commitment to the rule of law, in which nobody is deemed to be above the law no matter how highly-placed in the society. Accordingly, the general public will be duly informed as the matter progresses,” the release read partly.
Reassuring the public further, the DSS said: “The Service recommits itself to the fundamental role of providing adequate security for all Nigerians to enable them pursue their legitimate aspirations and businesses.”
DSS men recently stormed the Asokoro, Abuja residence of the former NSA, in an operation alleged to be in connection with the secret probe into how billions of naira allocated to the war against terrorism.
Security sources said it was likely that the ex-NSA would be invited subsequently for interrogation on how he administered the huge sums released for the prosecution of the anti-terror war in the North-East.
The DSS had also explained their actions regarding the siege on the home of Dasuki, saying the operation which warranted the agency to embark on the search on his properties was based on a credible intelligence linking Colonel Dasuki with an alleged plan to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.
Colonel Dasuki was said to have resisted the operations with the aid of soldiers guarding his home, even after the presentation of a duly-signed search warrant.
The DSS explained that the delay in getting into the former NSA’s home stretched the operations from what should have taken just about two hours to over 10 hours.
After the search, the DSS said it found seven high caliber rifles, several magazines and military-related gears.
Also, the DSS team said it also recovered 12 new vehicles, out of which five were bullet-proof.
The vehicles, according to the DSS, are all exotic and the former NSA failed to produce evidence of ownership.
Shortly after the former NSA opened up on how the Jonathan administration facilitated the acquisition of weapons in the last one year.
Dasuki who had come under scrutiny since DSS stormed his homes in Abuja and Sokoto three days after he was relieved of his post by President Muhammadu Buhari, named some of the acquisitions to include Alpha jets, armoured personnel carriers (APCs), mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunition, highly sophisticated surveillance drones, T72 Russian battle tanks, and carried out modifications to F7 supersonic fighter jets.
In a statement by the PR Nigeria, a media advisory to Federal Government security agencies, Dasuki said: “The armoured tanks have comprehensive NBC protection system, just as we deployed mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles that we bought and could withstand Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The vehicles protected our troops from the land mine threats.
“We are glad that we also provided assorted armoured personnel carriers to transport troops to the battlefield. They are armed for self-defence and to provide protection from attacks from shrapnel and small arms fire.
“All these were acquired in the last one year after years of frustration by Western powers who denied us of the equipment and sabotaged our efforts to acquire same from other sources which are reasons for some delay in delivery.”
According to him, some other arms already paid for by the previous administration are due to be delivered soon.
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