Tension as Dasuki dares Buhari, EFCC

By Post Nigeria May 3, 2016 17:01

Tension as Dasuki dares Buhari, EFCC

The trial of the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has suffered yet another setback, as the Department of State Services, DSS, failed to produce him before Justice Baba Yusuf, of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, May 3.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told Justice Yusuf, that efforts to ensure that the DSS produced the first defendant (Dasuki) in court as at the time the court was sitting, failed.

Related: Again, EFCC embarrasses Buhari in court

Dasuki is being tried alongside a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Babakusa and others on a 19-count charge, bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust.

The EFCC counsel, also added that Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN who was supposed to be the lead prosecution counsel in the case was also absent, as he was attending to a different case at the Court of Appeal.

Atolagbe, therefore prayed the court to stand down the matter, pending the arrival of Mr. Jacobs, in order for him to shed more light on the absence of Dasuki.

This was challenged by counsel to Shuaibu Salisu, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, who argued that Jacobs’ later arrival in the court would be inconsequential in the absence of Dasuki.

Olujinmi told the court that the prosecution had failed to produce the defendant in court and ought to admit that and asked for adjournment. He added, that the law maintains that trials cannot go ahead in the absence of the defendant.

He prayed the Judge to grant adjournment to the prosecution to enable them take steps to produce Dasuki in court.

In his own submission, counsel to Babakusa, Mr Solomon Umor, informed the judge that, “ordinarily the prosecution ought to apply for a bench warrant against Dasuki for his failure to appear in court for trial, but noted that in the instance case, the prosecution would not do so, because they are the one responsible for the absence of Dasuki, because of his unwarranted detention.”

He added, “Lets the truth be told here that it is the Federal Government that is frustrating this trial, because it wants to eat its cake and have it at the same time. By this I mean the government wanted the first defendant tried for a criminal matter and yet it was not ready to allow the defendant have access to his lawyers or even to court to face that trial.

“I would have asked that the defendants in this case be discharged and allow to go home pending the time the prosecution would get serious for their trial. But I will reluctantly concede to one more adjournment be granted to the prosecution.

“Let me say that this adjournment should go with stern warning, so the prosecution should not come before this court with another story, because the defendants must not be held to ransom by the unwilling prosecution.”

Justice Yusuf, in his ruling said the law requires that the defendant be produced in court by the prosecution which was not obeyed.

He therefore, adjourned the trial till May 23, 2016 on the ground that conduct of the prosecution had been good in the past.