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We Did Not Stop Dasuki’s Medical Trip – DSS

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The Department of State Security (DSS) has refuted claims that its operatives invaded the home of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Rtd Col Sambo Dasuki, in violation of a subsisting court order granting him permission to travel oversea for medical services.

The former NSA was charged to court with illegal possession of arms following a siege to his Abuja home and subsequent arrest in July. The charge against him was later expanded to include money laundering.

However, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday granted Dasuki permission to travel abroad for medical attention pending the commencement of his trial on the November 26 and 27.

It was gathered that Dasuki had planned to embark on the trip on Wednesday night and had secured a seat on Lufthansa, but aborted his plans when he was hinted that DSS operatives were at the airport to pick him up.

A statement signed by Tony Opuiyo, for the DSS, on Thursday, in Abuja explained that the DSS action was caused by the refusal of Dasuki to honour an invitation by a committee investigating his alleged involvement in the 2 billion dollars arms procurement process by the past administration.

The statement added that his refusal to appear before the committee compelled the DSS to adopt a legal means to ensure his attendance.

The statement read, “It may be recalled that Sambo was initially arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering, for which reason his international passport was seized and on the order of the court, returned to the registrar for custody.

“What has however brought the seeming standoff between Sambo and the Service, despite the court-ordered release of his international passport on 4th November, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a Committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case. 

“The public may wish to note that the government set up the Committee to investigate procurement processes relating to a two billion dollar ($2billion) arms transaction by the last administration, under which SAMBO was the NSA.

“It was on this premise that he was invited by the Committee to shed more light on his involvement in the deal. It, therefore, remains surprising and shocking that Sambo has refused to honour invitations of the Committee but instead resorts to grandstanding and subtle blackmail of the Service.

“His refusal to appear before the Committee has left the Service with no option than to adopt legal means to ensure his attendance.

“Therefore, without doubt, Sambo is pulling all strings available to him to evade justice and put the Service in bad light. The simple fact is that the DSS is not persecuting him. Nigerians are therefore enjoined to disregard the impression being created by him.

“This Service wishes to re-emphasise its commitment to the rule of law and strict adherence to democratic ideals. However, any person or group, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test the will of the present democratic dispensation, will definitely be checked through the legal provisions of the law.”