An application by embattled immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), seeking to stop his trial on the charges of diversion of N32bn arms fund was today dismissed at a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja. Justice Husseini Baba ruled that contrary to Dasuki’s allegation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was not in contempt of its order granting him (Dasuki) bail on December 18, 2015.
Dasuki was re-arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Service on December 29, 2015, shortly after he met the bail conditions and was released by Kuje prison. Dasuki had, through his motion urged the court to prohibit the EFCC from prosecuting him over an alleged “brazen” disobedience of the orders of court granting him bail.
But Justice Baba held in his ruling on Monday that since it had been confirmed that Dasuki was being held by the Department of State Service, which “is a stranger” in the case, the EFCC which is prosecuting Dasuki and his co-accused could not be said to have violated the bail order.
He ruled that the only option open to the former NSA was to file necessary suit in line with section 46 of the 1999 Constitution for the enforcement of his right to liberty.
After the Monday’s ruling, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, asked the judge a date for trial to commence, but Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), urged the court to give a date long enough to enable the ex-NSA’s lawyer to “tackle the issue of the stranger”.
The judge subsequently adjourned till March 23 for trial.
Dasuki filed the motion with respect to the 19 counts of diversion of N32bn arms funds for which he is being prosecuted along with a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser, Shuaibu Salisu.
The other co-accused are, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Babakusa and two companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
The ex-NSA, through his lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), has also filed the same application dated January 11, 2016, before Justice Peter Affen of the same Maitama Division of FCT High Court.
The case before Justice Affen is with respect to the 22 counts of N13bn fraud filed against him and others including a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
Others charged along with them are a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.