Judge Transfers Dasuki’s Case To Speed Up Trial

FG, ECOWAS Court, DasukiThe trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, in two High Courts in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja for alleged money laundering and breach of trust has been streamlined.

This followed the transfer of the two cases against Dasuki and other defendants from FCT High Court into one for quick and effective trial.

The Chief Judge of the FCT Judiciary, Justice Ishaq Bello, ordered the transfer of charges before Justice Peter Affem to the court of Justice Baba Yusuf, as the only Judge that would now conduct the trial.

Though Colonel Dasuki has been granted bails by all the courts involved in his trials, he has remained in the custody of Department of State Services (DSS) since November 2015.

The movement of the two charges into one court was at the instance of lawyers to the Federal Government and that of all the defendants in the matters.

The lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob, confirmed to reporters that the two charges in two different courts would now be conducted by a single court to ensure effective and speedy trial of the case.

He also said that with the movement of the charges into one court, the issue of consolidation of the charges would no longer arise having been overtaken by event.

Meanwhile, Justice Yusuf has fixed November 16, 2016 for the trial.

In The Interest Of Justice

At the last hearing on October 5, 2016 before Justice Baba Yusuf, the Federal Government agreed to consolidate the criminal charges filed against Colonel Dasuki and others before the two different FCT High Courts.

This followed a complaint by Colonel Dasuki that putting him on trial in two different courts on the same issues was abuse of judicial process that would prejudice and cause double jeopardy.

The counsel to the government, Mr Jacob and that of Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu agreed before Justice Yusuf to formally write the chief judge of the FCT judiciary, Justice Bello to consolidate the two charges in the interest of Justice.

The two senior counsels then applied to Justice Yusuf to adjourn the matter pending the time the chief judge would consider the application for consolidation.

The judge, who was then billed to give ruling on Dasuki’s motion for consolidation, put off the ruling because of understanding between the prosecution and the defence and adjourned the matter till October 21, 2016.

Court Refuses Dasuki’s Request To Quash Charges

Sambo-Dasuki-trialCourt refuses application by Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) seeking to quash the charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for disobeying a court order granting him bail.

The trail judge, Justice Peter Affem, held that contrary to the application by Colonel Dasuki, it was the Department of State Services (DSS), which was not a party in the suit that arrested Colonel Dasuki and not the EFCC.

He agreed with the anti-graft agency that it had not flouted any part of the orders releasing the former National Security Adviser (NSA) on bail.

Justice Affem also held that even though the EFCC and the DSS were Agencies of the Federal Government, the action of one agency could not count for that of the other.

“They were set up under separate laws and have separate responsibilities in ensuring law and order in the country,” he stressed.

“To this end, the application fails in its entity.”

The Judge also rejected the prayer by the former NSA to in the alternative “stay proceedings in the trial, pending when the Department of State Services complies with the order of the court which released him on bail, on the grounds that stay of proceedings are ordered only as a matter of law and not procedures”.

The trial has been adjourned to April 20.

Lawyer Confirms Dasuki’s Re-Arrest  

dasukiA Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lawyer to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Mr Ahmed Raji, has confirmed the re-arrest of his client, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) shortly after he was released on bail from Kuje prisons.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Mr Raji said that no reason was given by the security agents for the re-arrest of Colonel Dasuki who was granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja high court.

Colonel Sambo Dasuki is currently standing trial before different courts in Abuja over alleged criminal diversion of 2.1 billion dollars meant for the purchase of arms.

The DSS took custody of  Dasuki shortly after perfecting the third bail granted him by Justice Peter Affem after two other courts had done same.

The former NSA had been granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja High Court each in the sum of 250 million naira.

Dasuki, Bafarawa Others Get Bail With Conditions From Another Court

dasukiThe Former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former Minister for State of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, a former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa ‎and three others have been granted bail with conditions.

Their bail was granted on Monday by another Federal Capital Territory High Court in the sum of 250 million Naira each and two sureties in like sum.

Ruling on the bail application on Monday Justice Peter Affem, ordered that ‎the sureties must be a retired or serving civil servant in a government parastatal.

One of the sureties must be resident of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who must also own landed property worth 250 million Naira.

The ‎court also ordered the accused persons to deposit their traveling documents with the Court Registrar and in the case where this condition applies in another court, the accused persons must get a letter from the Court Registrar of the said court indicating that the passport was in the custody of the court.

Justice Peter Affem ‎also ordered that in case of further investigation, the defendants could only appear at the anti-graft agency within the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm local time.

‎The counsels representing the accused are also to recommend in writing that sureties are of good standing.

Justice Affem ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the prison pending when they meet their bail conditions.‎

Colonel Dasuki and five other accused persons are standing trial on a 22-count charge for alleged diversion of funds, misappropriation and breach of trust to the tune of 19. 4 billion Naira.

The charges were brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.