$2.1b Arms Deal: FG Agrees To Consolidate Charges Against Dasuki, Others

FG, ECOWAS Court, DasukiThe Nigerian government has agreed to consolidate the criminal charges filed against the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others.

They are standing trial before two different High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the ECOWAS court ordered the Federal Government to release Dasuki from the indefinite detention he had been kept in since December 2015.

The decision to consolidate the charges followed a complaint by the counsel to the former NSA, Mr Joseph Daudu.

ECOWAS-court
ECOWAS court says Colonel Sambo Dasuki’s detention is unlawful

Mr Daudu had argued that putting him on trial in two different courts on the same issues and subject would prejudice and cause him double jeopardy.

At the resumption of the trial, counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs and that of Dasuki, Mr Dudu agreed before Justice Baba Yusuf to formally write the Chief Judge of the FCT judiciary, Justice Ishaq Bello, to consolidate the two charges in the interest of justice.

The two senior counsel applied to the trial judge, Justice Yusuf to adjourn the matter pending the time the Chief Judge would consider the application for consolidation.

Justice Yusuf obliged the parties and adjourned the case to the October 21, 2016.

Dasuki had been put on trial before Justice Yusuf and another charge was filed against him before Justice Peter Affen both of the FCT High Court on the same issue and subject.

Earlier, the Federal Government gave an indication that it would not immediately obey the ECOWAS court’s instruction to release Colonel Dasuki.

ECOWAS-court-lawyers
Lawyer at the ECOWAS court hearing

The government asked for time to study the Judgement.

The court on Tuesday ordered the release of Colonel Dasuki, describing the detention as “unlawful and an arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights”.

The Federal Government had detained and seized property of the former NSA during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime for alleged money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.

Charges were brought against him by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The ECOWAS court also held that investigating Colonel Dasuki for allegedly committing or planning to commit a crime was not enough ground to detain him since December 2015.

However, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the government insisted that the Federal Government of Nigeria needed some time to study the content of the ruling before acting on it.

The government has also argued that it needed to fully understand the content of the court’s proceedings and judgement before reacting.

Mr Malami said: “We cannot just react. We will first of all study the judgement to understand its content before taking a stand”.

The Attorney General’s views were conveyed to Channels Television on October 5, by his Special Adviser on Publicity, Mr Salisu Isah.

Sambo-Dasuki-and-Muhammadu-Buhari
Colonel Sambo Dasuki claimed President Muhammadu Buhari was behind his continued detention

In February, Colonel Dasuki accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind his arrest and detention without trial since December 29, 2015.

Dasuki, who spoke through his counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu, claimed that President Buhari unjustly instigated his arrest and detention by the DSS against the bail granted him by three different courts in various criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

He claimed that the President, through his comments on the presidential media chat in January 2016, confirmed that he was behind his ordeal.

In a further and better affidavit filed in support of his application at the FCT High Court, the ex-NSA claimed that the President betrayed his emotion during the Presidential Media Chat when he openly told Nigerians that he (Dasuki) and Nnamdi Kanu would not be allowed on bail because they would jump bail.

FG Produces Dasuki In Court

dasukiThe Federal Government has produced former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) in court.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola had ordered the Department of State Services to produce Colonel Dasuki before the court today (Tuesday).

Justice Ademola gave the order after Colonel Dasuki failed to show up for trial on January 20, 2016.

Justice Ademola Adeniyi, in his order, said the court has not excused the former National Security Adviser from being present in court to face the criminal charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Colonel Dasuki is facing a 4-count charge of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms brought against him by the Department of State Services.

Trial judge, Adeniyi Ademola has, however, granted an adjournment based on the request of Dasuki’s counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu, who informed the court of a pending application he intends to argue.

FCT High Court Refuses To Discharge Dasuki

dasukiAn Abuja High Court has dismissed an application seeking to discharge the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki from charges of corruption filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Baba-Yusuf ruled that from the evidence and the facts before the court, the former National Security Adviser was released on December 29, 2015 having met his bail conditions.

The court held that it would be wrong to hold the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission responsible for the re-arrest since there is no evidence that the commission stopped the bail process.

The judge held that the Department of State Services (DSS), which re-arrested the former NSA, cannot be held in contempt because the bail order in the instant case does not cover the agency.

But the defence lawyer told the court that his client was not prepared for trial in custody of the Department of State Services, therefore he will approach the court to enforce his rights.

Dasuki’s lawyer, in his argument, had urged the court to prohibit the federal government from further prosecuting or further seeking any indulgence from the court until Colonel Dasuki is allowed to enjoy his bail.

He also asked the court to discharge the former NSA of all the offences contained in the charge against his client on the ground that the Federal Government cannot lawfully prosecute him, having been in contempt of the court.

He noted that Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf on December 18, 2015, granted bail to Colonel Dasuki and after perfecting his bail conditions, he was re-arrested on the orders of the federal government and taken to the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He added that since his client was rearrested, he has been kept away from his lawyers and family members.

However, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mr Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court that the motion was an abuse of court process because there was no evidence before the court, that the accused was rearrested by the EFCC.

Rather he was arrested by the Department of State for alleged breach of service law when he was in the Nigerian Army.

He further stated that the accused was a fugitive for seven years and that he is being investigated for series of alleged offences.

Dasuki To Know Fate February 8

DasukiA Federal High Court in Abuja will on Monday February 8, 2016, rule on whether to discharge the former National Security Adviser, (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki from the criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf fixed the date after the counsel to Colonel Dasuki, Mr Joseph Duadu and counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, had addressed the court on a motion seeking the release of the former NSA.

In the motion argued by lawyer to Dasuki, the court was urged to prohibit the federal government from further prosecuting or further seeking any indulgence from the court until Colonel Dasuki is allowed to enjoy his bail.

Mr Daudu also asked the court to discharge the former NSA of all the offences contained in the charge against his client on the ground that the Federal Government cannot lawfully prosecute him, having been in contempt of the court.

He noted that Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf on December 18, 2015, granted bail to Colonel Dasuki and after perfecting his bail conditions, he was re-arrested on the orders of the federal government and taken to the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He added that since his client was rearrested, he has been kept away from his lawyers and family members.

Mister Daudu asked the court to compel the Federal Government to obey the court order.

However, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mister Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court that the motion was an abuse of court process because there was no evidence before the court, that the accused was rearrested by the EFCC.

Rather he was arrested by the Department of State for alleged breach of service law when he was in the Nigerian Army.

He further stated that the accused was a fugitive for seven years and that he is being investigated for series of alleged offences.

He advised the accused person to instead evoke section 46 of the Constitution and file a civil action to challenge his arrest and the enforcement of his fundamental human rights.