Immediate former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki has claimed that his prosecution is sheer vendetta as a result of old grievances.
Dasuki reportedly told a Federal High Court in Abuja that he is being persecuted for perceived grievances some powerful individuals held against him while he was a military officer.
Dasuki made the claims following the government's request for his secret trial on fraud charges against him.
Reacting to the government's request, Dasuki, who spoke through his counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), stressed that he had rested the case in God's hands for the ultimate judgment.
“It is crystal clear that the defendant (Dasuki) is being punished by the powers that be for the perceived offenses committed long before… we leave them to the Almighty God for His ultimate judgment,” Daudu said.
However, the prosecuting counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN) prayed the court to allow witnesses give evidence behind the screen to be provided by the court saying Dasuki had loyalists across the country who may jeopardize the trial if done in the open.
In his words, "In the highest military office where Dasuki served last, loyalty is the first, second and the last rule and because of the peculiar nature of loyalty some people have for him within the military and beyond, those to give evidence in the trial were staff of the defendant at one time or the other.
"Since the witnesses are those whose primary duty is to assist the court in arriving at a just conclusion, the issue of security must be viewed with serious concern.
"I, therefore, urge the court to screen the witnesses from the public in the interest of justice as well as to protect them, their families and career," Okpeseyi said.
Dasuki had been arraigned before three different high courts for various allegations bordering on money laundering and fraud and was granted bail, but he was re-arrested in December2015 by the federal government.