Embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), on Sunday said he would like former President Goodluck Jonathan to be his witness in his ongoing trial for allegedly misappropriating $2.1bn arms funds.
This was revealed by Ahmed Raji (SAN), the ex-NSA’s counsel while speaking to The Nation on Sunday.
“It will be desirable for Jonathan to testify for the ex-NSA. It will throw greater light into grey areas. And it will serve the interest of Justice. It will be fantastic for him to go to court to testify. Dasuki is an agent of a disclosed and known principal.
But, frankly speaking, I pray for a political solution to the problem because of the characters involved. Both the accused and the government should embrace a political solution to the problem,” Raji said.
Jonathan had faulted the charges against Dasuki, claiming that the ex-NSA could not have stolen about $2.2billion votes for arms. “We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army,” he said in a recent interview at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom.
“With what Jonathan said in London, the only logical thing for him to do is to see it through. We want Jonathan to follow-through. If he backs out, it will be bad,” another member of the legal team said.
Asked if Dasuki is ready for political solution, he added:
Why not? He is. I believe the President is very sincere. He wants to reorganise Nigeria and he deserves the support of all. With a political solution, Mr. President will be in good stead to overcome unnecessary distractions in order to succeed. I pray that everybody will key into his vision and the economic challenges facing the nation.
According to a source, a prominent traditional ruler in the North got N500 million from the funds. The source also said that a fromer Head of State was also among the beneficiaries.
According to the source, the point of advising a political solution is that it will not be “tidy” for Dasuki to mention all those who got money from his office.
Another source, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation that Dasuki’s defence team was banking on Jonathan’s testimony.
“All is set for the defence of Dasuki, who is still insisting on an open trial to let Nigerians know the beneficiaries of the arms cash.
One of those who may testify is ex-President Goodluck Jonathan whose remarks in London appeared to be the first phase of the war chest of the ex-NSA.
You know the ex-NSA said he acted on Jonathan’s instructions in disbursing some of the cash. And from the look of things, the ex-President is now ready to accept responsibility for whatever Dasuki did.
We believe it has reached a level that Nigerians must know what really happened, how funds were disbursed and who got what. This is why a secret trial is not a viable option, with the way things are going.
So far, we have secured the consent of Jonathan to appear in court for Dasuki. This will make the trial worth it,” the source said.
“There are many hidden beneficiaries whom Nigerians must know. Nigerians will be shocked by some revelations which will come up during the trial. Nothing short of open trial will let Nigerians know the truth. We are ready for this,” another source said.
Dasuki had said after his arrest last year, that he disbursed the funds under the instructions of his principal, Goodluck Jonathan.