The Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the Federal Government’s attempt to use a witness wearing a mask to testify against a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), as satanic and a mockery of democracy.
The governor said it was becoming obvious that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government had something to hide on the travails of Dasuki.
The governor said Nigerians should ask the Federal Government why it was afraid of trying Dasuki in the open.
Fayose in a statement issued on Wednesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, challenged the APC-led Federal Government to allow a live television coverage of the trial so that the government could tell the world how Dasuki actually stole the $2.1bn arms money and he (Dasuki) could also defend himself in the full glare of the public.
“Since the names of the would-be prosecution witnesses have already been made public, what agenda is the Federal Government pursuing by insisting that its witnesses be given protection by the court by not allowing their names and addresses to be made public in the course of the trial.
“You accused someone of corruption in the market place and the person you accused is saying he wants to defend himself in the market place too, but you, the complainant, is insisting that the accused person must be tried in your bedroom, I think someone is trying to hide something?”
Fayose said it was curious that the Federal Government could approach the court for the second time, seeking an order to conduct secret trial in a celebrated criminal matter, on which it claimed to have watertight evidence.
He opined that the prosecuting counsel, who filed the application, should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used as tools to subvert democracy.
“They want Nnamdi Kanu tried secretly. They also want the former Col. Dasuki (retd.) tried secretly. What are they afraid of? How is the defence counsel going to cross-examine masked witnesses when their real identities cannot be ascertained? Why are the witnesses afraid to testify in an open court if truly they are witnesses of truth?
“Obviously, this is satanic. It is against all democratic norms and Nigerians must rise against it,” the governor said.
He called on the court to reject the Federal Government’s ploy to use masquerades as witnesses because Nigerians now at the mercy of the judiciary, as the only institution that could save them from the full-blown dictatorship that the APC government had become.