Alleged Corruption: Olisa Metuh Opens Defence

PDP's Olisa Metuh in Court -EFCCPDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, has opened his defence at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Metuh on Monday, called his first witness in defence of the case of corruption levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed trial, Mr Ike Agbenna who worked as a media consultant to the PDP spokesman, said that the then leader of the party, former President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the party funded the Office of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP.

This was contested by the prosecutor, who told the court that he has evidence of illegal financial transaction between the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and Mr Metuh.

Having listened to the testimony of the first and only witness of the day, Justice Okon Abang adjourned the case till April 20 for cross examination and continuation of trial.

Following the judge’s ruling, counsels to the parties, Sylvanus Tahir, and Emeka Etiaba (SAN), restated their commitment to prove their case.

Abuse Of Court Process

In an earlier ruling, Justice Abang had dismissed an application filed by Mr Olisa Metuh seeking an end to the hearing of the suit against him in the court.

The spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the court to disqualify itself on grounds of bias by the presiding judge.

While he alleged that the presiding judge was a classmate of his and ill-disposed to deliver justice on the matter, Justice Abang refuted the claim and consequently dismissed his application as an abuse of court process.

Mr Olisa Metuh is standing trial on allegations of financial crimes preferred against him by the EFCC.

Court Orders Release Of Dasuki’s Former Aide

Sambo DasukiAn Abuja High Court sitting at Jabi has ordered the EFCC and the Nigerian Army to release Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, a former aide to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

Delivering judgment on a fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Colonel Ashinze, Justice Yusuf Haliru directed the respondents to immediately release the applicant on self-recognition.

He said that the detention of Dasuki’s aide for over three months without trial, was illegal and constituted a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant.

The court also ordered the immediate release of documents and items the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seized from the house of the applicant.

Justice Haliru in his ruling on Monday, also advised both the EFCC and the Nigerian Army to behave responsibly and not to act as if Nigeria was still under military ‎dictatorship.

He said that the EFCC Act is not superior to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which stipulated that any person so detained should be charged to court within reasonable time not exceeding two months from the date of arrest.

The judge declined to grant an order directing the EFCC and Nigerian Army to either pay 500 million Naira damage or to offer public apology to the applicant who it said is still a serving military personnel.

The former aide to Colonel Sambo Dasuki has been in detention since December 23, 2015.

Dasuki’s Trial Stalls Again

dasukiThe trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), over alleged unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering stalled again on Tuesday.

At the resumption of the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja, lawyer to Colonel Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu, objected to the commencement of the trial, saying his client had been permanently detained since December 29, 2015, even after perfecting his bail condition.

He urged the judge that to honour his application seeking to discharge Colonel Dasuki from the criminal charges brought against him since the government was still in contempt of the court order.

The prosecutor, Mr Dipo Okpeseyi, disagreed with the defendant’s counsel, reminding the court that he had filed a counter-affidavit to oppose Dasuki’s application for discharge which had been served on the defendants.

He argued that the Federal Government was not in contempt of the court, as the Department of State Service, in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities, re-arrested Dasuki for interrogations in respect of other offenses.

Having listened to the arguments, Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned the case to March 3, in the interest of justice and fair hearing, as enshrined in section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution.

Justice Ademola also ordered the Federal Government to produce Colonel Dasuki on the next adjourned date.

Colonel Dasuki had not appeared in court on two previous trials and the trial judge had ordered the Department of State Services to ensure he was brought before the court on Tuesday.

Lawyer Says Dasuki Did Not Implicate Anyone

Lawyer Says Dasuki Did Not Implicate AnyoneLawyer to the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Ahmed Raji, says his client did not implicate anyone by his statements.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd)’s lawyer made the declaration on Thursday while speaking during an interview with Channels Television in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Having said the statement was not a deposition, Raji confirmed that some of the reports in the media were true statements made by his client to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

‘Bogus And Untrue’

Although, the legal practitioner has some comments to make on the letters from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the EFCC, regarding release of funds, he was quick to reject some of the figures that were published, saying they were ‘bogus and untrue’.

He maintained that the release of funds were made as admitted by his client, adding that the true nature and reasons for the statements would be made known when his trial commences.

Various media reports had on Monday alleged that the statements made by Colonel Dasuki laid credence to the charges brought against him by the EFCC.

Following his removal by President Muhammadu Buhari, Colonel Dasuki was charged for unlawful possession of weapons and money laundering, by the Department Of State Services.

He was also accused by the EFCC of stealing, criminal breach of trust and illegal transfer of funds belonging to the Federal Government.

Court Defers Ruling On Dasuki’s Bail Till Monday

Court Defers Ruling On Dasuki's Bail Till MondayA Federal High Court in Abuja has deferred till Monday the ruling on whether or not to grant bail to former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and five others.

The accused are facing charges of alleged diversion of funds meant for arms for the fight against terrorism.

Hearing of their bail application was differed till December 21 on Wednesday.

Counsel to the accused persons, Ahmed Raji, who led the arguments for the bail application, said the offences for which they were to be tried were bailable.

He added that the accused persons were presumed innocent and were therefore, entitled to bail at the discretion of the court.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, however, objected the bail application on grounds that the accused persons still had some influence in the institutions they superintended and could intimidate the proposed prosecution witnesses who served under them if released on bail.

The Federal High Court had earlier fixed Thursday, December 17, to rule on the bail suit filed by the former NSA and the other accused persons.

Mr Raji asked the court to adopt earlier bail conditions given to Mr Dasuki by the Federal High Court, as the issues were the same.

In his response, Mr Jacobs said “the case before the Federal High Court is a secondary offense which emanated as a result of the case before the present court and as such, the bail terms cannot apply”.

He added that there were concerns that the accused persons would jump bail or even obstruct ongoing investigations and asset tracing.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf adjourned the case after taking arguments for and against the bail application by parties in the suit.

Colonel Dasuki was arraigned along with the immediate past Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda, a former Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Attahiru Bafarawa and his son Sagir Attahiru, the Director of Finance in the office of the National Security Adviser Mr Shuaibu Salisu and two others.

Dasuki’s Trial Is Partial Indictment On National Assembly – Saraki

Dasuki's Trial Is Partial Indictment On National Assembly - SarakiSenate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, says the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), over alleged mismanagement of billions of Naira meant for arms procurement is a partial indictment on the National Assembly.

Dr. Saraki made the statement after the Upper Chamber debated a motion on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said the Senate had not properly performed its oversight functions on Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“Distinguished colleagues, I want us in this 8th Senate to ensure that our committees carry out proper oversight and we the leadership are going to ensure that we too find a way of making sure that the committees do their work of oversight because truly, that is the bottom line to this,” the Senate President said while reacting to Dasuki’s trial.

Senator Saraki said the inability of the Senate committees to effectively oversee government MDAs had ensured that gross mismanagement of revenue and incompetence in MDA’S have been left unchecked for too long.

“We must play our role in the area of oversight because if we do not play it, this is what we get at the end of the day,” the former Kwara State Governor said, as he tasked his colleagues on efficiency.

Court To Decide On Dasuki’s Bail Suit On December 17

Court Fixes December 17 For Dasuki's Bail SuitThe Federal High Court in Abuja will on Thursday, December 17, decide if it will grant bail to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and other accused persons.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf adjourned the case after taking arguments for and against the bail application by parties in the suit.

Counsel to the former NSA, Mr Ahmed Raji, asked the court to adopt earlier bail conditions given to Mr Dasuki by the Federal High Court, as the issues were the same.

Colonel Dasuki was arraigned along with the immediate past Minister of State for Finance, Mr Bashir Yuguda, a former Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Attahiru Bafarawa and his son Sagir Attahiru, the Director of Finance in the office of the National Security Adviser Mr Shuaibu Salisu and two others.

Rejecting the application, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, asked the court to decline bails.

“The case before the Federal High Court is a secondary offense which emanated as a result of the case before the present court and as such, the bail terms cannot apply,” he said.

Mr Jacobs also told the court that there were concerns that the accused persons would jump bail or even obstruct ongoing investigations and asset tracing.

He said that witnesses and evidence could be jeopardised if the accused persons were allowed to go on bail.

Having listened to all the parties in the suit, the trial judge adjourned the case till Thursday for ruling on the bail and commencement of trial.

DSS Arrests Dasuki Again

dasukiThe operatives of Department of State Service (DSS) on Monday morning arrested the immediate past National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) in Abuja.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had fixed December 3 for the hearing of the motion filed by the Federal Government seeking to revoke the bail granted to the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Mohammed Diri, told the court that a notice of appeal has been lodged at the Court of Appeal challenging the judgment of the court granting bail to the former National Security Adviser.

The former NSA was charged to court with illegal possession of arms following a siege to his Abuja home and subsequent arrest in July. The charge against him was later expanded to include money laundering.

But a Federal High Court in Abuja granted Mr Dasuki permission to travel abroad for medical attention pending the commencement of his trial on the November 26 and 27.

Ruling on the application filed by Mr Dasuki, Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted the former National Security Adviser a period of three weeks within which to take care of his health abroad.

However, few days after this ruling, the home of Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the nation’s capital, Abuja was surrounded by men of the DSS and the siege was described as an attempt to ensure that he did not leave the country, as the former NSA accused the Federal Government of abuse of power.

The DSS debunked the claim that its operatives invaded the home of the former National Security Adviser in defiance of a court order granting him permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The DSS in a statement, explained that the action by its officers is caused by the refusal of Mr. Dasuki to honour an invitation by a committee investigating his alleged involvement in the 2 billion dollars arms procurement process by the past administration.

The statement added that his refusal to appear before the committee compelled the DSS to adopt a legal means to ensure his attendance.

“Sambo was initially arrested and charged to court for unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering, for which reason his international passport was seized and on the order of the court, returned to the registrar for custody.

“What has however brought the seeming standoff between Sambo and the Service, despite the court-ordered release of his international passport on 4th November, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a Committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case.” the DSS said.

The former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki, denied ever receiving any invitation letter to appear before a committee set up by the current administration to investigate procurement processes relating to any arms transaction by the last administration, under which he served.

 

Dasuki’s Bail Revocation Suit: Court Fixes Dec. 3 For Hearing

DasukiA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed December 3 for the hearing of the motion filed by the Federal Government seeking to revoke the bail granted to the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Mohammed Diri, told the court that a notice of appeal has been lodged at the Court of Appeal challenging the judgment of the court granting bail to the former National Security Adviser.

Ruling on another application seeking to ensure the presence of Colonel Dasuki in court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola said that it is not compulsory for a defendant to be present in court when interlocutory applications are being heard. He added that, in line with Section 266b of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, accused persons are mandated to be in court during trial for criminal cases.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who pleaded not guilty to a one-count charge of alleged illegal possession of firearms, preferred against him by the federal government had earlier been granted bail by a Federal High Court to enable him seek medical attention abroad.

Justice Minister’s Absence Stalls Dasuki’s Suit Hearing Again

Justice Minister Absent In Court Over Dasuki's BailThe Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has failed to appear before a court over the right enforcement suit filed by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

Mr Malami again refused to show up at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to explain why the order of the court granting Mr Dasuki permission to travel for medical treatment was being flouted.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, the Federal Government opposed the application for the enforcement of fundamental human rights filed by Dasuki on the ground that he needed to be present in court to seek any relief.

The prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Diri, informed the court that he had filed an application seeking to revoke the bail granted the former NSA.

Relying on section 266 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, lawyer to Colonel Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu, disagreed with the prosecutor.

Mr Daudu said that his client was not on trial and as such, it was not mandatory for him to be physically present in court.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the suit till November 26 for ruling, just as the trial was expected to commence on the same day.

On November 3, the Federal High Court granted Colonel Dasuki permission to travel for medial treatment, by the court’s ruling has not been fully upheld, as some officials of the Department for State Service (DSS) are said to have maintained a siege to the house of the former NSA.

Colonel Dasuki is facing charges for alleged money laundering and unlawful possession of firearms. He has denied the allegations, saying he acted in the interest of the nation.

The Federal Government had filed an amended charge against the former National Security Adviser, after his arraignment on a one-count charge of unlawful possession of firearms without licence.

The prosecution expanded the charges to include money laundering and also applied to the court for a secret trial Mr Dasuki as well as protection for all its witnesses in the suit.

 

APC Rejects Call For Postponement Of Elections

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected the call by the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), for the postponement of the February general elections warning that under no circumstance must the elections be scuttled.

Sambo had given the advice during an event at the Chatham House in London on Thursday, citing the need to give INEC more time to distribute all Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the APC said that the call by Col. Dasuki, had exposed the hitherto clandestine plot by the Jonathan Administration to push for the postponement of the polls, using all sorts of “cheap tricks”.

”Now that we have found the smoking gun, we are urging the international community, in particular, to urgently extract a commitment from President Goodluck Jonathan that the elections will hold as scheduled next month, and that he would respect the outcome, just as we have said,” it said.

The party also called on Nigerians to reject what it termed an ongoing orchestrated plot by President Jonathan’s administration to postpone the elections, saying the constitutional crisis that would be triggered by such postponement could undermine the nation’s democracy.

APC said that the importance of elections cannot be over-emphasized, “Election is the lifeblood of democracy, the mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates.

“It is the only way for the citizenry to renew and refresh the governing process so they can get the most benefits out of democracy. Therefore, anyone that tries to sabotage this mechanism is aiming a dagger straight to the heart of democracy.

“We ask them to look at the State Governor placing a newspaper advert wishing our presidential candidate dead. The possible repercussions of this kind of provocative act are better imagined, had our party not been a peaceful party.

”In view of the above, we have decided to take our case to Nigerians and indeed the global community so they can prevail on President Jonathan to allow the elections to hold as scheduled and to make a commitment to respect the outcome.”

NSA, Dasuki, Advises INEC To Postpone 2015 Elections

DasukiThe National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delay the elections scheduled for February in order to allow for proper preparations and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

He gave this advice on Thursday during a discourse at London think-tank, Chatham House, where he stated that it would be advantageous if the upcoming elections were postponed.

He said that so far, INEC had distributed 30 million cards and would need to distribute more, noting that it would be the first time Nigerian voters would use a bio-metric card to prevent rigging of the elections.

According to him, since there were still another 30 million people yet to collect their PVCs, it would cost INEC nothing to change the dates of the elections.

Dasuki stated further that although INEC has assured the nation of success in the forthcoming election despite time constraint, it was reasonable to postpone the elections based on these factors.

According to tweets by the Chatham House Africa Programme in London, monitored by Channels TV, the NSA also gave assurances that the missing Chibok girls would soon be located with the help of the international community, particularly the French, British, Americans and Chadians.

The tweets also quoted him debunking allegations that the Nigerian Army were under-equipped.

Baga Casualty Figure

Dasuki also maintained the official casualty figure from the Baga attack released by the Nigerian Army, stating that only an independent verified copy of the satellite images can prove otherwise.

Suspected members of the Boko Haram had attacked the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base in Baga, Borno State on Saturday, January 5, with Defence Spokesperson, Major-General Chris Olukolade, pegging the casualty figure around the borders of 250 people, comprising mainly of members of the sect.

However, satellite images released on Thursday, January 15 by human rights organisation, Amnesty International, suggested that there was wide scale destruction by Boko Haram insurgents in the town.

Amnesty International said that the images provided “indisputable and shocking evidence” of the scale of the attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants.

According to the organisation, “Before and after images of two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2nd and 7th of  January show the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed. Other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period.

“These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in a new video, has claimed responsibility for the Baga massacre.

The man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau said that people were killed “as our Lord instructed us”, threatening more raids.