By Taiye Agbaje
Williams Obiora, first prosecution witness (PW1) in the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), on Wednesday, said he was part of the team that carried out a search at the ex-NSA’s residence in Asokoro.
Obiora, who was shielded from the public glare during cross-examination, told Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that he was not part of the legal team that prepared the charges against Dasuki.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dasuki is facing a seven-count charge bordering on Illegal possession of fire arms and money laundering.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the Federal Government, Dipo Okpeseyi, SAN, had earlier told the court that the matter was slated for continuation of cross examination.
“I have worked for 30 years in DSS. I worked briefly with a private company after my national youth service year in 1986 before joining DSS,” Obiora responded to counsel to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji’s question.
When Raji, SAN, asked him if he was still in service, the PW1 said: “I retired in 2018.“
He told the court that the private company where he worked before joining the DSS did not deal in arms and ammunition.
When asked if he had worked in the office of NSA before, Obiora said: “Not at all, I have never worked in the office of NSA.”
He also told the court that he had never worked as an officer in other security agencies.
When Raji asked him if he knew the details about the law setting up NSA’s office, he said though he was aware that the office was establish by law, he did not know details about the law.
He, however, said he was aware that NSA’s office “coordinates all security agencies in the country, including the DSS.”
When the lawyer asked him if he knew anything about the term: “End User Certificate,” he responded in affirmation.
“I know what End User Certificate is. It is usually sought and obtained from the office of the NSA when materials of security nature is to be brought within the country.
“So we need the approval of the NSA and that is where an End User Certificate comes in,” he explained.
According to him, it includes arms and ammunition.
However, when Raji asked him to confirm if the exporters would not sell any security equipment without an End User Certificate, the witness said: “Ideally, that is what is supposed to be but this is Nigeria, anything can happen.”
“I will be right to say that even the DSS cannot import arms without an End User Certificate?” Raji asked.
“I wouldn’t know that,” Obiora responded..
“Can army import without an End User Certificate?” the lawyer asked again.
“I wouldn’t know,” Obiora restated.
When asked if he had ever seen an End User Certificate before, the witness said: “No.”
He explained that he knew about the term through reading.
“I read it from books. I cannot remember any of the books.,” he told the court.
The witness, who said he worked under Operations Department when in service, said he was not aware “inspection team normally goes to the country of production whenever arms and ammunition are to be procured to ascertain the equipment to be bought.”
“Those who are normally sent are those who are vast in ballistic?” Raji asked.
“I am not aware,” Obiora responded.
“You have not been trained in ballistic,” Raji asked again.
“I have not,” Obiora said.
The lawyer then asked the witness if the former NSA personally told him that the arms and ammunition found in his houses belong to him (Dasuki).
“I cannot recall if the defendant told me that the arms and ammunition personally belonged to him,” he responded.
The witness told the court that he only took part in searching the Asokoro residence of Dasuki.
“Do you agree with me that the military, especially the army, has more to do with arms and ammunition than the DSS,” the lawyer asked.
“I don’t understand what you mean,” he responded
When Raji asked for an adjournment to enable him obtain the CTC (certified true copy) of statement of witness in the previous proceedings before another court, Justice Mohammed granted the request.
He adjourned the matter till May 5 and May 6 for trial continuation.