Dasuki: Shock as Judges abscond, hearing stalled

By Amako Nneji October 28, 2015 18:29

Dasuki: Shock as Judges abscond, hearing stalled

The absence of the judges involved in the trial of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki and ex-Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye stalled proceedings in both cases on Wednesday.

The judges, Gabriel Kolawole and Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja were said to be attending the Court’s annual Judges’ Conference outside Abuja.

Court officials have however fixed next Monday (November 2) for further hearing in the case involving Dasuki, while that of Oronsaye was fixed for November 3.

On October 26 when the Dasuki case last came up, Ademola adjourned to Wednesday, October 28 for ruling on the application by the prosecution for the trial to be conducted in secret.

Prosecution Counsel M.S. Labaran requested that Dasuki’s trial be conducted in secret via providing special cover for witnesses from using public routes, use of private witness room, use of facial masks, and also that only accredited members of the press be allowed to cover the trial.

In a counter motion, one of the counsels to Dasuki and former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Joseph Daudu objected to the request for special cover for prosecution witnesses in the case on the grounds that the case was harmless within a democratic setting that did not warrant secret trial.

See: Why Dasuki remains adamant against secret prosecution

The Judge also picked Wednesday for ruling on the defense’s application for the release of Dasuki’s travel documents, which he submitted to the court after he was granted bail on self recognition.

Dasuki, who was earlier arraigned on a one-count charge of illegal arms possession, was re-arraigned on October 26 on an amended five-count charge of illegal arms possession and money laundering.

Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and limited liability company Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited were arraigned on a 24-count charge in July this year for alleged fraud and money laundering offences involving N1.2 billion.

See: DSS lobbying for secret trial of Dasuki