Alleged 3.1bn Naira Fraud: Court Grants Suswam’s Request To Travel Abroad

SuswamA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted the request of the former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, seeking the release of his international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical check-up.

Justice Ahmed Muhammed while granting the request on Tuesday, also ordered Suswam to return to Nigeria before the next adjourned date to make himself available for his trial.

The judge granted the request after counsel to the former Governor of Benue State, Mr Joseph Daudu, through a motion he filed on January 14, prayed the court to release Suswam’s international passport to enable him travel abroad for medical check-up.

The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacob, who raised no objection to the motion, prayed the court to grant the request during the holiday period so that the former Governor of Benue State could return on time to face his trial.

Mr Suswam and his former Commissioner of Finance are alleged to have diverted the proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State Government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.

The offence is punishable under section 15, subsection three of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Kogi Governorship Tribunal To Accept Forensic Evidence

KogiThe Kogi State governorship election tribunal siting in Abuja has agreed to accept forensic reports as parts of evidence to be tendered by the petitioner during the proceedings.



Ruling on an earlier motion filed by the petitioner, Captain Idris Wada, Justice Halima Mohammed said that the court would accept forensic experts as witnesses and their reports as evidence.

The court also asked all parties to the case to streamline their witnesses so as to enable it give judgement within the expected time frame.

Having ruled on all preliminary objections, the petitioner further proposed to the court that all certified documents from INEC be allowed to be tendered by consent during the proceedings.

Lead counsel to the petitioner, Chris Uche (SAN), said that the decision of the court is important to proving his case, while counsel to INEC, Alex Iziyon, (SAN) insisted that such documents should be verified before they are accepted by the court

Counsel to the first respondent, the Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) also maintained that tendering of documents should be based on what the law says and not the views of the parties.

The court has adjourned till March 15 to rule on other pre-hearing matters, including duration for cross-examination of witnesses and whether or not all certified documents from INEC be tendered by consent.

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.

Suswam’s Trial Continues In Abuja

SuswamThe trial of the former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam and his former Commissioner of Finance, Omodachi Okolobia, continued in Abuja on Tuesday.

A witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC), Mrs Bridgid Shietu, denied knowledge of the sales of about 47 million units of shares in three tranches in 2006 by the administration of Senator George Akume.

During cross examination by the defence counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu, the witness, who was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Benue Investment and Property Company Limited, also denied knowledge of the sales of some shares belonging to the state government.

The witness denied the knowledge of another sales of about 2,764,800 units of Julius Berger shares in 2006 and another 12,358,650 units of AfriBank Nigeria PLC shares sold in the same month and the same year by Senator George Akume.

She, however, admitted receiving the sum of $2.2 million from the proceeds of the shares sold by Mr Suswam, as counterpart funding paid into the account of Samkalos Benue Farms Limited, which was a joint venture project between the Benue State Government and Samkalos Farms of Mexico.

The prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, declined commenting on the trial while Mr Daudu restated the innocence of his client.

The case has been adjourned to March 2, 2016.

Mr Suswam and his former Commissioner of Finance are standing trial for an alleged criminal diversion of 3.1 billion Naira brought against him by the EFCC.

 

FG Files Fresh Application, Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone

dasuki

The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo‎ Dasuki has again been stalled following the filing of a fresh application by the federal government seeking to stop the execution of the bail granted to the accused person on November 3, 2015.

At the resumed hearing, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyitan said that he had just been briefed to handle the case through a fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation authorizing him to take over the prosecution of the case.

He also told the court that he has filed a new application seeking to stay the execution or further execution of the order of the court delivered on November 3, 2015.

He added that the ‎federal government was not in disobedience of the order of the court granting bail to the accused person.

Lawyer ‎to the accused person, Mr Ahmed Raji, however, objected to the hearing of the application saying it was not ripe for hearing.

He told the court that he had just been served with the motion in court, adding that he needed time to respond to the motion.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the case till December 8.

Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone

Meanwhile, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has denied implicating anyone or group during interrogation on the allegation of $2billion arms purchase deal brought against him by the Federal Government.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate said that his client never made such statement or name anyone to EFCC. He wondered ‎where the authors got their information from.

“I was with Dasuki yesterday and wish to make a categorical statement that my client never made any statement of such nature or naming anybody or group in any statement.

“Quote me anywhere, Dasuki has not done anything like that. It is absolutely untrue. It is the figment of the imagination of the authors aimed at creating falsehood for reasons best known to them and Nigerians should disregard them.

“They are just out to scandalise the man, bring his image and character into disrepute so that his friends and well-wishers can run away from him. They want him deserted and that will fail,” Raji said.

 

 

Dasuki vs. FG: Attorney-General Expected In Court On Monday

dasukiThe Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Malami Abubakar, is expected to appear at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

He is to explain why the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) has remained under house arrest, despite a court order that permitted him to travel abroad for medical  treatment.dasuki

The appearance of the AGF before the court is sequel to the summon issued on him by Justice Ademola Adeniyi.

Justice Adeniyi, who is presiding over the trial of the erstwhile NSA, maintains that the AGF must appear before him to explain why the court order, dated November 3, was flouted at the behest of the Federal Government.

The judge summoned the AGF after Dasuki’s lawyers, led by Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) informed the court that armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had since November 4, barred their client from stepping out of his house.

Mr Daudu told the court that the operatives have continued to lay siege to Dasuki’s residence at 13, John Kadiya Street, Asokoro District, Abuja, a development he said made it impossible for him to travel to the United Kingdom to keep an appointment with his doctor.

Court Orders DSS To Allow Dasuki Travel, Summons AGF

Dasuki

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS), to allow former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), to travel out of the country for medical treatment.

The court also ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to appear before it on Monday to explain why the order of the court granting the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) permission to travel is being flouted.

Counsel to Colonel Dasuki, Joseph Daudu had told the court, during the hearing of the fundamental rights enforcement suit lodged against the Federal Government by Dasuki, that his client’s right to freedom was being infringed upon.

Shuaibu Labaran representing the federal government said that Dasuki refused to honour an invitation sent to him on November 4 to appear before the Department of State Services but the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Adeniyi, replied that the order of the court granting Dasuki permission to travel must be obeyed.

Justice Adeniyi then advised the federal government to wait for Dasuki to return from his medical journey.

Colonel Dasuki had earlier also dragged the DSS to court to protest his continued detention.

Colonel Dasuki has asjed the court for a mandatory order directing the Department of State Services to remove all human and non-human barricades laid around his residence.

He said that this has hindered the accomplishment of the orders of the court which gave him permission to travel abroad for medical attention.

Dasuki Files Suit Against DSS  

DasukiThe buck passing between former National Security Adviser and the Department Of State Services (DSS) continues with Colonel Dasuki dragging the DSS to court to protest his continued detention.

Colonel Dasuki is asking the court for a mandatory order directing the Department of State Services to remove all human and non-human barricades laid around his residence.

He said that this has hindered the accomplishment of the orders of the court which gave him permission to travel abroad for medical attention.

Colonel Dasuki is also asking the court to extend its order which allows him leave to travel as the said time has been breached by barricades laid by the DSS.

DSS Continues Siege As Dasuki Returns To Court

dasukiOperatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, have continued to lay siege to the Abuja residence of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and the former NSA would be in court today (Monday) to enforce his fundamental rights.

Dasuki’s house in Abuja has been under siege, with DSS operatives restricting the movement of the retired military colonel and that of other people coming into the residence.

The operatives are insisting on delivering personally, a letter of invitation for him to appear before a committee set up by the government to probe arms purchase while he (Dasuki) held sway as NSA.

“I told them that if it is just a letter of invite, they can drop it with my domestic staff, but they insisted that I must come out and collect it myself.

“I told them that unless they had a warrant allowing them to arrest me, I do not have to collect the letter from them and I am also not going anywhere without my lawyer,” Dasuki  has said.

The Department of State Security, DSS, had earlier 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.

“It may be recalled that 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 November 4, 2015, is his refusal to appear before a committee undertaking the investigation of an entirely different case,” the service said.

The former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki, had 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.

Colonel Dasuki said that the DSS is determined to re-arrest him without any court warrant or fresh charges.

He said that his current travails started after Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court ordered his passport returned to him to enable him go abroad for medical treatment.

He added that he received “intelligence” that an order was given to the operatives to effect his arrest at the airport. As a result, he failed to leave on Wednesday as arranged.

The home of Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the nation’s capital, Abuja was surrounded by men of the DSS on Thursday and the former NSA has accused the SSS and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) of abuse of power.

Dasuki has also argued that it was strange that a committee purported to be operating from the office of the National Security Adviser could have transferred its mandates to the DSS.

I Was Never Invited By Panel On Arms Purchase – Dasuki

dasukiThe former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has 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.

Colonel Dasuki told an online publication, Premium Times that the DSS is determined to re-arrest him without any court warrant or fresh charges.

He said that his current travails started on Tuesday after Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court ordered his passport returned to him to enable him go abroad for medical treatment.

He added that he received “intelligence” that an order was given to the operatives to effect his arrest at the airport.

As a result, he failed to leave on Wednesday as arranged.

The Department of State Security, DSS, had earlier 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 home of Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the nation’s capital, Abuja was surrounded by men of the DSS on Thursday and the former NSA has accused the SSS and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) of abuse of power.

The Colonel Dasuki 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 on Monday 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.

 

DSS Explains Siege To Dasuki’s House

dasukiThe Department of State Security, DSS, has 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.

Press Release

The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been brought to the report making rounds that its operatives illegally blocked the residence of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo DASUKI (Col/Rtd), in violation of a subsisting court order granting him a relief to travel oversea for medical services. This is to say the least that such report is not only unfounded and malicious but aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Service.

  1. It may be recalled that 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.
  2. The public may wish to note that the government set up the Committee to investigate procurement processes relating to a two billion dollar ($2billion) arms transaction by the last administration, under which SAMBO was the NSA. It was on this premise that he was invited by the Committee to shed more light on his involvement in the deal. It, therefore, remains surprising and shocking that SAMBO has refused to honour invitations of the Committee but instead resorts to grandstanding and subtle blackmail of the Service. His refusal to appear before the Committee has left the Service with no option than to adopt legal means to ensure his attendance.
  3. Therefore, without doubt, SAMBO is pulling all strings available to him to evade justice and put the Service in bad light. The simple fact is that the DSS is not persecuting him. Nigerians are therefore enjoined to disregard the impression being created by him. This Service wishes to re-emphasise its commitment to the rule of law and strict adherence to democratic ideals. However, any person or group, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test the will of the present democratic dispensation, will definitely be checked through the legal provisions of the law.

Tony OPUIYO

Department of State Services,

Abuja.

4th November, 2015

 

 

DSS Lays Siege To Dasuki’s House

dasuki

There seems to be a fresh attention on the home of the former National Security Adviser, Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, as men of the Department of State Security (DSS) have increased their presence.

It is not exactly clear why the fresh occupation is taking place but there are strong indication that Colonel Dasuki is being prevented from seeking medical attention abroad.

Although agency report says he has been placed on house arrest as his home in the nation’s capital, Abuja is currently surrounded by men of the DSS.

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 on Monday 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.

It is not clear if the latest action by the DSS is aimed at preventing him from travelling abroad.

DSS Explains Siege

The Department of State Security, DSS, has 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.