DSS finally produces Dasuki after judge’s threat

DSS finally produces Dasuki after judge’s threat

Thursday, January 21, 2016 5:34 pm

Sambo Dasuki: finally brought to court

Sambo Dasuki: finally brought to court

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Justice Hussein Baba Ahmed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
high court on Thursday compelled the Federal Government to produce the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki in court to answer criminal charges brought against him.

The judge who berated  the federal government for failure to
bring Dasuki to court stood down the trial for two hours and insisted
that the trial will not be conducted until Dasuki had been brought
before him as required by law.

Security operatives ran helter and skelter to fish him out.

Dasuki’s whereabouts has been unknown for the past six weeks.

Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to Federal Government assured the court that Dasuki will be brought to court.

The former NSA was eventually brought to the court around 11:00am in compliance with the court order under a tight security.

Another  judge of the Federal High Court,  Adeniyi Ademola had on
Wednesday ordered the federal government to produce Dasuki before him on February 16 to answer another criminal charge.

Justice Ademola maintained that it was wrong of the government to have expected the court to conduct a criminal trial in the absence of the defendant and in violation of the law.

Three different courts where Dasuki was arraigned for criminal charges had granted him bail but the bail orders were not obeyed by government which instead took the defendant to an unknown custody.

However, the trial of Dasuki in a case filed against him by the EFCC
for alleged criminal diversion of over N13.57 billion was shifted till Friday.

Charged with Dasuki are  Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser; Aminu Babakusa, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited. They were all charged  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  on a 19-count   bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

Hearing in the  case was shifted  following a letter from  counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN that he was before an election tribunal  in Kogi State and as such the court adjourned the case to January 22 to enable him defend his client.

 Jacobs said: ‘‘ Counsel to the first defendant wrote a letter to me, saying that he won’t attend today’s proceedings on the grounds that he will be appearing before an election petition tribunal in Lokoja, Kogi State.’’
Jacobs further told the court why the prosecution could not produce the first defendant in court for trial as scheduled, adding that ‘‘when I inquired about the first defendant, I was told he is not in their (EFCC) custody. On further enquiry, I was told that he is with the Department of State Security. We have, however, made moves to ensure that he is produced in court this morning. My Lord, they are bringing him to court this morning.’’
In response, counsel to the other defendants kicked against the motion moved by the prosecution counsel, maintaining that the plea for adjournment of the trial was at the instance of the prosecution.
 According to Solomon Umoh, SAN, counsel to both the third and fifth defendants, ‘‘The prosecution should have ensured the presence of all the accused persons.  This adjournment is at his (Jacobs) instance. The court has to wait for him (Dasuki) before ruling on the adjournment.  It is a criminal procedure and can’t be held in the absence of the accused person.’’

While other parties in the suit conceded to the letter,  counsel to theEFCC Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN standing for EFCC expressed reservations on the grounds that the defence has a team of lawyers who could have managed the case.

On his part,  Justice Hussain Baba-Yusuf adjourned the
case to Friday,  22nd of January for trial to commence.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.