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Nigeria's former national security adviser charged with illegal weapons possession

Sambo Dasuki was one of several military chiefs replaced last month by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to defeat terrorist group Boko Haram.

By Fred Lambert
Nigeria's former national security adviser charged with illegal weapons possession
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sits at the U.S. Consulate General's Residence in Lagos, Nigeria, during a series of meetings on Jan. 25, 2015. After Buhari fired several of the county's military chiefs in July, a Nigerian court charged the sacked national security adviser for illegal weapons possession. Photo by U.S. State Department

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A Nigerian court charged the country's former national security adviser for illegal weapons possession, according to a statement.

Sambo Dasuki was one of several military chiefs Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari fired last month. Dasuki, along with Nigeria's army, navy, air force, defense staff and intelligence chiefs, as well as its air marshal, were replaced with merit-based candidates after failing to end the six-year Boko Haram insurgency.

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In raids last month, authorities recovered at least seven high-caliber rifles, military gear and 12 new vehicles, including five bullet-proof cars, at three of Dasuki's residences, according to Nigerian media.

Punch quoted Nigeria's Department of State Security as saying it had credible intelligence linking Dasuki to "alleged plans to comĀ­mit treasonable felony against the Nigerian state" and noted that investigators believe he was able to procure the firearms and vehicles with money obtained through corruption.

The former national security adviser proclaimed his innocence and said the weapons belonged to his security guards, the BBC reports.

Dasuki is the first senior official from the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan to be charged since Buhari took office in May on a pledge to fight corruption and crack down on Boko Haram.

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He had advised Jonathan on security issues, briefly took on responsibilities of the defense minister and was a proponent of delaying Nigerian elections earlier this year due to security concerns.

Buhari replaced him with retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, a native of Borno state, where a majority of Boko Haram attacks are centered.

News of Dasuki's charge comes two days after suspected Boko Haram militants in Borno state ambushed a convoy carrying Maj. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the newly-appointed chief of army staff and also a Borno state native.

The BBC and Punch quoted the DSS as saying the charges against Dasuki were representative of its commitment for democratic values, and that no one was above the law, even those highly placed in society.

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