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BREAKING: Court Grants Ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki Bail |RN

SamboDasuki

Ex-National Security Adviser, Lt Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) 

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Monday, granted bail to the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Dasuki had been on trial for alleged diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms to combat the Boko Haram menace to the 2015 presidential campaign of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The bail granted the embattled former presidential aide, on Monday, would be the sixth such bail granted him since the trial.

The trial judge, Justice Ojukwu, described the continuous detention of the Dasuki for the last two and half years as ‘an aberration to the rule of law and the contrition’.

She, therefore, grated the former NSA bail in the sum of N200 million and two sureties.

The sureties according to her, must not be lower than grade 16 in the civil service and where they are private citizens they must be owners of landed properties in Asokoro, Maitama, Utako or Garki area of Abuja.

Also, each surety is expected to pay a sum of 100 million as bail guarantee into the court litigation account.

Meanwhile, Justice Ojukwu took a swipe at the Department of State Services (DSS), stating that it could give itself the powers to met out punishment at a person as only the court has the powers to do that at the end of a trial. (The Sun)

Details later…

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FG Brings Fresh Charges Against Dasuki |The Republican News

By Tunde Oyesina, Abuja

The Federal Government yesterday increased to 32 from 19, the counts in a money laundering charge filed against a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and four others before an Abuja High Court.

In the amended charge, the Federal Government alleged that the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus; former Chairman Board of Trustee PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; former PDP Spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh; Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena, Senator Iyorchia Ayu; Chairman of AIT, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, Bello Abba Mohammed, Dr. Bello Mohammed, AVM M. N Umar and Otunba Jonah Ogunniyi are among the beneficiaries of the said money.

Apart from individuals, corporate organisations were also named as beneficiaries in the new charge and they include AMP Solar Service, Afro-Arab Investment, Bam Project and Projectiles Limited, Bob Oshodin Organisation Limited, Wehsac Farms Limited, Wehsac Limited, Dimaris Mode Coolture Limited, First Aralac Global Limited, Stellavera Development Limited, Jawaz Multi-purpose Venture Limited, Little Italy Global Services Limited, Belsha Nigeria Ltd and Syvan McNamara Limited, among others.

The Federal Government had first arraigned Dasuki, alongside a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of National Security Adviser, Shuaibu Salisu; former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa, and two firms- Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital in November, 2015 on a 19-count, bordering on breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of N13.5billion.
In the new charge, the Federal Government dropped the name Salisu Shuaib, who was a former Director of Finance and Supply in the ONSA under Dasuki.

At the resumed trial yesterday, Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the court that they have amended the charge against the defendants from 19 to 32.

He added that the amendment charges excluded the second defendant, Shuaibu Salisu, and urged the court to accept the amendment and also asked for a date for re-arraignment.
Responding, Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji, (SAN) informed the court that they were served on April 30, and it was only on May 1, that it was brought to his notice.

“I have no privilege of discussing with the first defendant and the counts are almost doubled. Consequently, we will be asking for an adjournment.’’
Counsel to Baba Kusa, Solomon Umoh, SAN, and other counsel in the matter, aligned with Raji for adjournment.

The trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, accepted the prosecution’s amendment and adjourned till May 17 for re-arraignment.

The Federal Government did not, however, give any reason why the former Director of Finance in ONSA, who served along with Dasuki, was dropped from the trial having been arraigned together since 2015.

However, lead counsel to Dasuki, Raji, said that he did not know the deal Shuaib had with the Federal Government and EFCC that could have warranted the dropping of his name from the charge.

Raji, however, said that subsequent event in the trial would reveal to the defendants and their counsel all the circumstances leading to the dropping of the core accused, adding that “till then, we will keep our fingers crossed.”
Dasuki and the other four defendants were first arraigned in 2015 and pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
They were subsequently admitted to bail.
Dasuki was later re-arrested after perfecting the bail conditions on December 29, 2015, and had been in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS till date.                (New Telegraph)

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FG Wants Masked Witnesses Against Dasuki To Testify Behind Screen

Image result for sambo dasuki
                    Immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal Government, on Thursday, urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow its prosecution witnesses to testify behind the screen in the trial of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he would, on June 15, rule on the application which was opposed by Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN).

The lead prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), while addressing the court on Thursday, stated that there was possible threat to the witnesses’ lives by virtue of Dasuki’s current and previous positions.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Raji, however, urged the court to consider the alleged threat as a mere “speculation” without any evidence supporting it.

But the prosecutor, in his further argument, insisted that the threat was real, alluding to an alleged inexplicable accident which he said had virtually incapacitated the principal prosecution witness in the case.

Okpeseyi added, “The principal witness in this case can no longer appear in court due to an accident he was involved in.

“The circumstances surrounding his accident are still unknown. He was just saved by God. He sustained multiple fractures from his head to his leg.

“So, life must be protected before it is lost.”

The prosecution had, on April 6, 2017, re-arraigned Dasuki on amended charges of money laundering, stealing of prohibited firearms and illegal possession of firearms.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the seven counts instituted against him.

At the hearing of the prosecution’s application for witness protection on Thursday, Okpeseyi argued that there was a need to shield the identities of the prosecution witnesses from the public.

He said this was because the witnesses were operatives of the Department of State Services “carrying out covert operations on behalf of the Federal Government in various parts of the country and even beyond.”

Okpeseyi also noted that Dasuki’s status as a former senior military officer, an ex-Aide-de-Camp to a sitting President, a former NSA and a crown prince (of Sokoto Caliphate), collectively conferred on the defendant large followers.

He stated, “What we seek is for them to give evidence behind a screen to be provided by the court.

“The defendant was once their boss and the defendant had been a senior military officer, a former Aide-de-Camp to a sitting President, a former NSA and a crown prince, who has large followers.

“It is for these reasons that, even without his (Dasuki’s) knowing, harm may come the way of the witnesses.”

He also distinguished between the application and the one earlier filed by the prosecution and dismissed by the former trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, from whom the entire case was transferred to the current trial judge.

Okpeseyi said Section 232(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provides for “screening” or “masking” as the options for witness protection which the prosecution could seek for its witnesses.

He added that the screen, if allowed by the court, would not take away the right of the defence to cross-examine the witnesses or prevent the defence lawyers as well as the defendant from seeing the prosecution witnesses behind the screen.

But in response, Raji insisted that the alleged threat to the prosecution witnesses’ lives was speculative as no harm had been done to any of the prosecution witnesses who had been testifying without a screen in the two criminal cases pending against Dasuki in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja.

He also argued that a similar application had been dismissed by the former trial judge, adding that if the court granted the application, it would amount to Justice Mohammed sitting as an appeal court over the previous ruling.

He argued that Section 232 of ACJA was applicable to the trial as some of the offences instituted against the defendant fell under economic and financial crimes as provided under section 232(4)(c) of the Act.

Justice Mohammed fixed June 15 for ruling.      (Punchng.com)

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BREAKING: Senate Panel Subpoenas Flynn For Russia-related Documents

 

The Senate intelligence committee has subpoenaed former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn for documents related to the panel’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner, the committee’s Democratic vice chairman, say the panel had first requested the documents from Flynn on April 28. They say Flynn’s lawyer declined to cooperate with the request.

Flynn was fired by Trump after less than a month on the job. The White House said he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials about his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

Flynn’s Russia ties are also being scrutinized by the FBI as it investigates whether Trump’s campaign was involved in Russia’s election interference.

This is a breaking news alert. Check back later for more.

Michael Flynn

AP

MORE DETAILS LATER…….

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Flynn Probably Broke Law By Failing To Declare Foreign Payments, House Oversight Leaders Say

 

Karoun Demirjian
FILE PHOTO - White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) arrives prior to a joint news conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017.© REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo FILE PHOTO – White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) arrives prior to a joint news conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House…  

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn probably broke the law by failing to disclose foreign income he earned from Russia and Turkey, the heads of the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and the panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), said they believe Flynn neither received permission nor fully disclosed income he earned for a speaking engagement in Russia and lobbying activities on behalf of Turkey when he applied to reinstate his security clearance. They reached this conclusion after viewing two classified memos and a disclosure form in a private briefing Tuesday morning.

“Personally I see no evidence or no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz told reporters after the briefing.

Said Cummings: “He was supposed to get permission, he was supposed to report it, and he didn’t. This is a major problem.”

Chaffetz and Cummings stressed that as a former military officer, Flynn would have needed special permission for his appearance at a gala sponsored by RT, the Russian-government-funded television station, for which he was paid $45,000. For his work lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government, he was paid more than $500,000.

“It does not appear that was ever sought, nor did he get that permission,” Chaffetz said.

The Republican later added that while Flynn was clearly not in compliance with the law, “it would be a little strong to say that he flat-out lied.”

Democrats immediately pounced on the news, claiming that it was yet another drip of damaging information implicating Trump world’s relationship with Russia.

“The disturbing news that General Flynn may have violated the law in connection with his security clearance may be just the tip of the iceberg,” declared Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday.

“These revelations highlight the importance of the intelligence committee working in a bipartisan way to request and receive documents with respect to any financial arrangements Flynn and others in similar positions may have had with foreign governments.”

Flynn’s omission could cost him. Violations of this nature can be punished by up to five years of jail time, though President Trump’s Justice Department ultimately would make the decision about whether to investigate or charge him.

Chaffetz stressed that the government ought to “recover the money” that was paid to Flynn by foreign entities — a figure that would at least be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer would not say whether Flynn may have broken the law.

“That would be a question for him and the law-enforcement agency. I don’t know what he filled out or what he did or didn’t do,” Spicer told reporters at the daily press briefing. “He filled that form out before coming here, so it would be up to the committee and other authorities to look at that.”

He insisted the Trump administration had provided all documents requested by Congress to the committee.

“Every document they asked for it’s my understanding they’ve gotten,” he said.

He added that the committee’s request for a record of Flynn’s conversations with foreign contacts was “unwieldy,” arguing it was Flynn’s job “to talk with foreign counterparts on a daily basis. To document every call that he may have made is not exactly a request that is able to be filled.”

While it will not be up to the Oversight Committee to impose punishment, panel leaders pledged to pursue the matter, indicating a preference for making the documents the lawmakers reviewed public.

The future of any action may rely on a new Oversight Committee chairman. Chaffetz announced last week that he would resign from Congress in 2018 and perhaps leave much sooner — setting off a scramble to replace him on the House’s chief investigative panel.

Flynn could be charged with a crime for lying on the background-check form, and it could cause problems with his future ability to obtain security clearances. But the law requires investigators to show that he “knowingly and willfully” made false statements, setting a high bar. Prosecutors would not be able to make a case if Flynn’s forms were inaccurate by mere carelessness or honest mistake.

The FBI could open an investigation into the matter, and if they have not already, Congress could presumably ask them to do so. Chaffetz himself did just that after FBI Director James B. Comey said he would need such a referral to explore whether Hillary Clinton committed perjury when she testified before a congressional committee about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

The documents that committee members reviewed Tuesday came from the Defense Intelligence Agency and showed that Flynn had not declared any income from Russian or Turkish sources, despite the fact that the forms were filed about a month after Flynn’s reported trip to Moscow to speak at the RT gala, Cummings said.

“As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings,” said Flynn counsel Rob Kelner of Covington & Burling.

Flynn, a Trump campaign adviser and the first national security adviser of the Trump administration, was ousted in February after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Pence about his talks at the end of 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

The FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election, supposedly to help Trump. They are also exploring possible links between Trump aides and Russian officials.

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are scheduled to testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8. The House Intelligence Committee has also invited Yates and Clapper to testify in a public hearing that has not yet been scheduled.

The House probe in particular has been beset with controversy after the Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), publicly signaled that he had seen information suggesting the identity of Trump or members of his transition team may have been revealed in classified surveillance reports.

The Oversight Committee asked the White House in March for documents pertaining to Flynn’s security-clearance applications, the vetting that occurred before he was named national security adviser, and all of his contacts with foreign agents, including any payments received. In particular, the committee heads requested to see a disclosure form known as the SF86, on which Flynn was obligated to declare any foreign income.

On April 19, the White House sent the committee a reply, stating that any documents related to Flynn from before Jan. 20 — the day Trump took office — were not in its possession and that any documents from after that date did not seem relevant to the committee’s investigation.

“The White House has refused to provide this committee with a single piece of paper in response to our bipartisan request,” Cummings said.

He noted that lawmakers would be interested in seeing documents that could shed light on what Flynn told the White House and his foreign contacts before he was named national security adviser, and what led to his exit less than a month later.

During the transition period, Flynn told the incoming White House that he might need to register as a foreign agent. Cummings would not go so far as to accuse the White House of intentionally obstructing the committee’s investigation of Flynn.

The committee is not likely to pull Flynn before the panel for testimony — despite Cummings’s insistence that it “should be holding a hearing with General Flynn.”

Chaffetz said he would “highly doubt” that the committee would call Flynn to testify, deferring any command for such an audience to the House Intelligence Committee.

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Release Dasuki, Kanu, Others Without Condition, Fayose Tells Buhari

From Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant unconditional release to former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, Fayose urged Buhari to reciprocate the mercy of God upon his life by showing mercy to Sambo, Kanu and others.

He also said it will not be right to turn back the hands of the country’s clock, and noted that the current peace in the Niger Delta and the slight improvement in the economy must be improved upon.

Thanking God for the president’s return in good health, which he said was all at the mercy of God, and particularly, as a result of the prayers of Nigerians who have made this to happen, the Ekiti governor told Buhari: “It is, therefore, incumbent on you to show mercy on Nnamdi Kanu and Sambo Dasuki, who have been granted bail already by courts of competent jurisdiction, and such other Nigerians who are suffering unjust, punitive, illegal, and unconstitutional incarceration.

“Allow all those who have been granted bail by the court to enjoy their bail while their trial continues. This is the right, just, and merciful thing to do, especially now that your good self is looking up to God for mercy.

“Those of us in authority must not be seen to be using our God-given powers to oppress the citizens placed under our care.

“The citizens’ fundamental human rights must not be taken away.

“In the spirit of Nigerians praying for your full and quick recovery, kindly show mercy as it will only cost you humility to show mercy to those people who deserve it.

“If we do not forgive, we ourselves will not get forgiveness. If we do not pardon, we will not get pardon. President Buhari, I enjoin you to please pardon Kanu and others, so that Nigeria can move forward.

“If you heed to this advice, I can assure you that it will yield positive dividends to your government and I want you to know that I am speaking the mind of Nigerians on this matter,” the governor added.

Fayose then condemned some Igbo leaders, who he said were playing politics with Kanu’s continued incarceration, and warned that the continued incarceration of Kanu by this administration can be interpreted to mean hatred for the Igbo as a people.  (The Sun)

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