Alleged N32 Billion Fraud: Dasuki’s Absence Stalls Trial
The trial of former National Security Adviser, Clo. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) was on Wednesday stalled due to the inability of the prosecutors to produce him in court.
The erstwhile security chief was alleged to have refused to appear in court.
At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, told Justice Baba Yusuf that Mr. Dasuki refused to be in court on the grounds that his lawyers, Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji, would not be in court.
He also added that he tried to convince the defendant to come to court and see how the proceedings would be conducted, but he (Dasuki) refused.
Mr Jacobs, therefore urged the court to commence trial in the absence of the defendant.
However, defence counsel, Mr Wale Balogun, urged Justice Baba Yusuf to disregard the claim of the prosecution, maintaining that as of Wednesday, Mr. Dasuki was still denied access to his lawyers.
Mr. Balogun described Mr Jacob’s claim, allegedly obtained from a third party, that Mr Dasuki’s lawyers never attempted to see him as “baseless and unwarranted”
Mr. Dasuki’s lawyer said on the contrary it was the SSS and the prosecution that scuttled the trial by their deliberate refusal to produce the defendant who has been in their custody since last year in court.
The presiding judge, in his remarks, said the case cannot commence without the defendant.
Justice Yusuf therefore adjourned the case to April 6 for the prosecution to produce the defendant in court.
The anti-graft agency had in the charge it filed before an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama, alleged that Dasuki connived with the erstwhile Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu and a former Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-Kusa, and diverted public funds to the tune of N32billion.
Two companies, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referal Hospital Limited, which allegedly served as conduit pipes through which the fund was allegedly siphoned from accounts the office of the NSA operated with both the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions, were also joined as defendants to the charge.