By FIDELIS SORIWEI, ADELANI ADEPEGBA, AND ADE ADESOMOJU
The Department for State Services on Saturday night accused former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) of felony, corruption, misuse of power and possession of destructive weapons.
The DSS said it recovered seven high calibre rifles, (high assault weapons), several magazines, military related gears and 12 new vehicles which included five bullet proof cars from Dasuki’s home.
The Service said the items recovered from the former NSA were capable of disrupting the peace of any city in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by an official of the DSS, Tony Opuiyo, the intelligence agency said the ex-NSA was not forthcoming with the truth in his account of what transpired in his house.
The DSS had invaded the residence of the former NSA on Thursday and put him under movement restriction till Friday evening.
It was gathered that operatives refused him access to his family members during the raid and the period of his restriction.
He could not step out of his house to participate in Eid Fitr prayers which were held after the Islamic fasting exercise.
The DSS in the statement justified its actions saying it had “credible intelligence linking Dasuki with alleged plans to commit treasonable felony against the Nigerian State.”
Opuiyo said, “DSS conducted a search on the properties belonging to the former NSA. The properties are on Nos. 13, John Khadya Street, Nos. 46, Nelson Mandela Street, both at Asokoro, Abuja, and Nos. 3 Sabon Birni Road, Gwiwa Area, Sokoto, Sokoto State.
“The search operations were planned to be simultaneously conducted, but Dasuki refused the operatives entry into his main residence located at No. 13 John Khadya Street, Asokoro, despite being presented with a genuine and duly signed search warrant. Consequently, what was to last not more than two hours, lasted more than 10 hours, up till the early hours of July 17.
“If not for the sense of maturity and professionalism of the officers and men assigned this task and the very good understanding and timely intervention of the new Chief of Army Staff, Tsukur Buratai (Maj Gen), there would have been a clash between the Army operatives guarding the house and service operatives, as Dasuki directed the soldiers on duty not to allow any movement into his house, despite the subsisting court order.”
Opuiyo further said Dasuki thereafter raised the alarm to the military authorities to come to his aid.
The DSS also accused Dasuki of using military guards despite his removal as NSA.
Opuiyo stated, “He retired from the Army as a colonel, and therefore, not entitled to have military guards, if not for the fact that he was NSA. Even as NSA, such guards should have been withdrawn after his removal as NSA since he would not have been entitled.
“Twelve exotic vehicles were retrieved from Dasuki’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five bullet proof cars as a retired NSA? These cars, which from all available evidence, were purchased with tax payers’ money were being kept for possible sinister enterprise.”
The security agency added that the search operation was not a witch hunt but that it decided to move in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to be proactive and pre-empt individuals with penchant for impunity and lawlessness from putting back the nation to the dark days.
It further said the lethal arms and vehicles recovered were not reflected in Dasuki’s handover notes.
“What could a former NSA be doing with destructive weapons and bullet proof cars which put together could disrupt the peace of any city in Nigeria for a while?
“On the search of his three properties, including the Sokoto residence, the Service is aware that in his capacity and given his antecedents, he might decide to use any of his residences for such diabolical plans, rather than his main residence,” Opuiyo added.
The service vowed that it would use all constitutional means to deal decisively with those that are bent on breaking the rules governing Nigeria’s peaceful co-existence due to either the huge ill-gotten wealth they have acquired or imaginary hold they think they have on the nation’s survival.
Meanwhile Dasuki, might have concluded arrangements to sue the SSS and the Federal Government for alleged violation of his fundamental human rights.
A source close to the former NSA said that Dasuki would take legal actions against the DSS for the violation of his rights to freedom of movement and the damage done to his public image.
The source said, “The Abuja building of the former NSA was not destroyed. The damage we are talking about is his image and his fundamental human rights, and the right to move freely.
“For instance, his father is sick abroad but he could not see him; his son was also prevented from having access to him on Thursday and Friday.
“The man has briefed his lawyers, he is going to court on Tuesday to enforce his fundamental human rights.”
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje, said the rights of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, to seek redress in court over any issue he felt aggrieved about, was protected under the constitution.
But he was quick to add that it was the court that would determine the merit of his case.
He said, “The beauty of democracy is that it thrives on the rule of law and the principle of constitutionalism. To that extent, the Nigerian constitution is a mirror of the fundamentality of the rule of law as the bastion of hope to an aggrieved citizen.”
Another rights lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, argued that Dasuki, ought to be the one answering to the law for obstructing lawful execution of a court-obtained search warrant at his home and not him threatening to go to court.
“You cannot prevent the lawful execution of that search warrant. If you do that, you are answerable to be arrested, detained and charged to court. He prevented the lawful execution of the warrant and he is now the one talking about going to court.”