The Federal Government on Tuesday arraigned a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), before a Federal High Court in Abuja on one count of possession of firearms without license.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted him bail on self-recognition shortly after he pleaded not guilty to the charge which was said to violate provisions of 27(1)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
In a short ruling on his bail application which was not opposed by the prosecution, Justice Ademola ordered that Dasuki should deposit his diplomatic passport and other traveling documents to the Deputy Registrar, Litigation, of the court, as the only condition for the bail.
The firearms, which Dasuki was accused of possessing without licence, include five Tavor riffles, 20 magazines, five rifle slings, five packets of servicing kit, one packet of MOD AP9 Cal. 9mm Luger No. 033373, small magazine containing 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition and bigger magazine containing 23 five rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Others are one Macro Uzi with serial No 60244, one magazine with 16 rounds of live 9mm ammunition and 36 rounds of live 9mm.
Some of the items were said to have been recovered from his Range Rover car with number plate Abuja RBC 517 JN.
The items were said to have been recovered during a search of his residence at 13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja on July 16, 2015.
While arguing Dasuki’s application for bail, the lead defence counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu, who appeared with Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), along with other lawyers, described the charge as looking “very simple, but it is a very slippery charge.”
Daudu contended that his client needed to be on bail for him to be able to effectively defend himself. He also insisted that the alleged offence was a bailable one, adding that since the prosecution said the investigation of the case had been completed, there would be no fear that the defendant would interfere with investigation.
The prosecution, led by the Director, Directorate of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. M.S Diri, did not oppose the bail application as he opted to leave the granting of bail and on which terms to the discretion of the judge.
“The offence for which the defendant was arraigned before this court is a bailable offence. The prosecution intends to leave the issue of bail to the discretion of this honourable court. We did not file counter-affidavit because we are not opposing the bail application,” Diri said.
The judge, after delivering his ruling on the bail application, adjourned till October 26 and 27 for trial.