Dasuki loses bid to stop trial, case starts April 20

Dasuki loses bid to stop trial, case starts April 20

Friday, March 4, 2016 1:59 pm

Sambo Dasuki

Sambo Dasuki

An FCT High Court on Friday said that former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, application to stop his trial lacked merit.

Dasuki was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly mismanaging $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian Army fighting insurgents in the North-East.

He, however, had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In his ruling, Justice Peter Affen, dismissed the application on the grounds that Dasuki’s re-arrest on Dec. 29, 2015 did not violate the order of the court granting him bail.

Affen held that the continued detention of Dasuki did not violate his order granting the ex-NSA bail on Dec. 21, 2015.

He also said that the application lacked merit and ordered that the trial of the ex-NSA, who was charged along with others must continue.

“The Federal Government and the EFCC did not disobey the order he had earlier granted,’’ the court held.

“Since it was clear that the ex-NSA was not re-arrested by the EFCC but by the Department of State Service, the EFCC could not be said to have violated the said order granting him bail.

The judge held that though the EFCC and the DSS were both federal agencies, the wrongdoing of one could not be blamed on the order.

He also ruled that the order granting bail to the defendant did not preclude him from being re-arrested by other agencies of the Federal Government in respect of other alleged crime.

He said, the EFCC did not violate its order, even if it did, Dasuki’s lawyer did not show how that could constituted grounds for discharging him or stay the criminal proceedings.

The judge fixed April 20 and April 22 for trial.

Earlier, Justice Baba Yusuf of the same court, had on Feb. 8 made similar declaration that the detention of Dasuki was in not in breach of his Dec 18, 2015 order granting him bail.

The judge had fixed March 23 for commencement of trial.

Similar applications seeking for orders prohibiting the EFCC from further prosecuting him were filed before the two judges.

Dasuki urged the two courts for an order discharging him of the alleged crime or alternatively staying proceedings.

Meanwhile, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had on Thursday fixed April 4 for ruling on similar application filed by Dasuki.

Dasuki was re-arrested by operatives of the DSS on Dec. 29, 2015 shortly after he fulfilled his bail condition and was released from Kuje Prison.

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