Dasuki Has Fulfilled All Bail Conditions – Lawyer

Alleged Fund Diversion: FG Files Amended Charges Against Dasuki
File photo of Sambo Dasuki

 

Lawyer to the detained former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has confirmed that the former NSA has fulfilled all the bail conditions imposed on him by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Dasuki is on trial over an alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.

His lawyer, Ahmed Raji told Channels Television via a telephone interview that he has the letter by the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court confirming that Dasuki had fulfilled all the bail conditions been made available.

Raji noted that this has also been presented to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Department Of State Services (DSS), which is holding him in custody, for further action on the directives of the court.

READ ALSO: Executive Order 6 Most Potent Tool Against Corruption, Says Lai Mohammed

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on Monday, July 2 granted bail to Dasuki from the custody of the DSS, where he had been detained for two and a half years, since December 29, 2015.

She ordered that if the DSS want to interview the former NSA in the future, it must be done without detention and on a working day.

This is the sixth bail that will be granted to the former NSA.

Justice Ojukwu granted the former NSA bail in the sum of N200million with two sureties in like sum and ruled that “the long and continued detention” of the applicant since December 29, 2015, could not be justified.

$2.1bn Arms Fund: FG Files 32 Amended Charges Against Dasuki, Others

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects

The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki in the alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds is facing a fresh delay as the Federal Government filed 32 count amended charges against him and three others.

The filing of the amended charge is coming almost three years after the Federal Government arraigned the former NSA before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on 18 count charge.

In the amended charges names of prominent politicians from the opposition party are listed as beneficiaries of the alleged diversions

Apart from filing new charges with fresh names, a new twist was also introduced into the trial by the government as a key defendant in the matter. Salisu Shuaib, who was a former Director of Finance and Supply in the ONSA under Colonel Dasuki was dropped from the new charge.

READ ALSO: Alleged N4.9bn Money Laundering: Trial Of Fani-Kayode, Others Stalled

The amended charge dated April 30, 2018 was signed by Mr Chile Okoroma, Director of Legal Services with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

No reason could be immediately obtained on why the former Director of Finance in ONSA who served along with Colonel Dasuki was dropped from the trial having being arraigned together since 2015.

However, lead counsel to Dasuki, Mr Ahmed Raji, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was sighted at the FCT High Court along with Dasuki told judiciary correspondents that he did not know the deal between Salisu Shuaib, the Federal Government and EFCC on the new twist.

Raji, however, said that subsequent events in the trial will reveal to the defendants and their counsel all the circumstances leading to the dropping of the core accused, adding that “till then we will keep our fingers crossed.”

Apart from Dasuki, other defendants in the amended charge are Aminu Baba Kusa, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.

Prominent Nigerians alleged by the Federal Government to have been beneficiaries of money from the former NSA are the current National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, former Chairman Board of Trustee PDP, Tony Anenih; former PDP Spokesperson, Olisa Metuh; Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, Bello Abba Mohammed, Bello Mohammed, AVM M. N Umar, Jonah Ogunniyi among others.

Meanwhile, Secondus and Dokpesi have since filed a separate suit against the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed over the inclusion of their names in the list of persons who have allegedly looted the nation’s treasury.

Media entrepreneur, Dokpesi, in the suit filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory instituted N5billion defamation suit against Mohammed.

Secondus, before a high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital asked the court to award him the sum of N1.5billion as damages for “humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.”

It would be recalled that Dasuki, Salisu Shuaibu and three others were arraigned in 2015 on the same charge and pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

They were subsequently admitted to bail but however, Colonel Dasuki was re-arrested after perfecting the bail conditions on December 29, 2015, and had been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) without filing any other charge against him.

The trial had since suffered series of delays at the instance of the Federal Government most especially in the inability of the DSS to produce the ex-NSA in court for trial as required by law.

Meanwhile, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court is expected to take the fresh plea of the four defendants on May 17, 2018.

Metuh’s Trial: Court Rejects Dasuki’s Application For Adjournment

Col. Dasuki To Take Fresh Plea In January

Justice Okon Abang has dismissed the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki’s application for an adjournment to enable him to get documents to refresh his memory in the ongoing trial of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh.

Justice Abang dismissed the application on the ground that Dasuki is not a party before and the application, therefore, lacks merit.

He adds that Dasuki was not subpoenaed to tender documents but rather to be asked questions as a witness.

READ ALSO: I Cannot Recall My Dealings With Metuh, Dasuki Tells Court

Dasuki, speaking in court said all his transactions with Metuh followed due process and he has never been charged or convicted in relation to his transactions with Metuh.

When confronted with documents he signed authorising payment to Metuh and Destra Investment Limited, Dasuki said it is a photocopied document by the Prosecution, who is desperate to secure the conviction and he cannot authenticate the said document without making reference to his own documents.

The Prosecution then asked Dasuki the service rendered by Destra Investment Limited that warranted the payment of N400million.

Dasuki in response said he doesn’t know except he refers to his records. He adds that it will be useful for the Prosecution to read the act establishing the office of the National Security Adviser.

Air Force Establishes Cancer Center In Maiduguri

Air Force Establishes Cancer Center In MaiduguriThe Nigerian Air Force has established a cancer screening center at the 105 Composite Group in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The centre which is the first of its kind in the state was commissioned by the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), who urged residents to take advantage of the centre through regular visits for early diagnosis.

“Cancer is one of the greatest risks in today’s context, and the sooner people are able to detect this disease which can be tackled in the early stages of diagnosis, I think the better it’ll be for everybody.

“What we need to do now is to begin to make the entire people of Borno State and beyond understand the need for them to come and screen themselves,” he said.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, explained that the establishment of the centre was borne out of the desire to alleviate the health challenges of personnel and their families, as well as members of the host community.

“Cancer is responsible for every one in six deaths and also the second leading cause of deaths globally, killing 8.8 million people every year while another 14 million people come down with the disease every year,” he lamented.

The screening center has been stocked with hi-tech equipment for immediate commencement of operations, as the Air Force currently runs two full-fledged emergency hospitals at the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Bama and Dalori.

The commissioning of the screening centre was also witnessed by the Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, and other top government officials.

Osinbajo Meets With Heads Of Prosecuting Agencies

Yemi Osinbajo, OndoAll heads of prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government are in a crucial meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.

The agencies include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), and the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Although the reason for the meeting is unknown, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the recent setbacks suffered in the government’s corruption cases.

Details coming shortly.

Alleged N26m Fraud: Fani-Kayode’s Trial Adjourned Till April 25

Fani-Kayode, EFCC ArrestsThe non-availability of prosecution witnesses stalled the trial of the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Fani-Kayode, who was also the Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign team for former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 election, is being prosecuted by the Federal Government over allegation of 26 million Naira fraud allegedly perpetuated during the campaign.

He was alleged to have illegally received 26 million Naira from former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to organise media campaign for former President Jonathan’s re-election bid.

At a resumed hearing, the EFCC lawyer, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, expressed surprise over the absence of the prosecution witness in court.

He subsequently asked the court for an adjournment to enable him put his house in order.

However, Mr Ojogbane did not adduce any reason before the court as to why the prosecution witness who was to lead evidence against Mr Fani-Kayode was not in court.

In view of the development, Counsel to the former Minister, Mr Ahmed Raji, did not oppose to the application for adjournment.

Justice Tsoho adjourned the case till April 25, 2017 for the prosecution to open its case.

UN Security Council Meets With Osinbajo

UN Security Council Meets With OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the visiting United Nations Security Council mission that steps are being taken to ensure that human rights culture is institutionalised in the Nigerian Military to avoid negative reports of human rights abuse.

Professor Osinbajo said this during a closed door meeting with the UN delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, noted that it was time for the international community to take another look at the international legal instruments and conventions that govern warfare and conflicts in the light of the unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world.

“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.

“We need to look at the governing conventions, as well as what type of legal categories and recognition of law we should give them.

“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” the Acting President said in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He also assured the UN team that the Federal Government would progressively review the Rules of Engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system while taking human rights issues into consideration.

Professor Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes which include the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the northeast.

He said “we are already disbursing the cash transfers in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities,” adding that the present administration was implementing a micro-credit scheme while using the Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate the local economies, including through the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers.

The Acting President further urged the international community to support the Federal Government in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive”.

He hinted that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission bill that would deal with some of the long term developmental issues.

The Security Council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft.

The team comprises of all the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian Government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.

He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address the issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.

The delegation is leaving Nigeria with a pledge that the United Nations Security Council would play its role well in assisting the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenges in the conflict zones.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government is pleased with the tour of the northeast by the Council.

He assured the team that Nigeria would leverage on it to access all the funds needed for the rehabilitation of the IDPs in region.

The meeting was attended by some members of the Federal Executive Council and top government officials including the Minister of Defence, Major General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are the Minster of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Ex-NSA Dasuki

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA Objects For the second time, the Nigerian government has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja for secret trial and protection of witnesses that will testify against the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the case of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering brought against him.

The fresh application which was filed by the prosecutor, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyi, urged the court to try the former National Security Adviser in secret and also protect the witnesses by not allowing their names and addresses to be made public in the course of the trial.

But in a strong opposition to the fresh request, the former National Security Adviser asked the court to dismiss the government motion on the ground that it lacks merit and constituted a gross abuse of court process.

Counsel to the former NSA, Mr Ahmed Raji, argued that there was no justification for the federal government to have brought the motion for secret trial for the second time having lost in the first motion filed before the same court.

He reminded the court that government had on its own volition placed the charges against him on the internet where the names, addresses and positions of the witnesses were conspicuously put at the disposal of the general public.

He reminded the court that in a ruling it dismissed the request on the ground that the witnesses were already known by the public having given their names and addresses to the public through the internet.

He further said that bringing the same motion to the same court constituted a gross abuse of court process and that what the prosecution ought to do if not satisfied with the decision of the court is to approach the Court of Appeal to ventilate its case.

The defense did not object to the request for the adjournment but clarified that the fresh motion for secret trial was served on the defendant last Thursday, hence their counter affidavit prepared over the weekend was served on Monday within the time allowed by law.

The federal government through the Department of State Services (DSS) had in 2015 slammed a 2-count charge of unlawful possession of fire-arms and money laundering against Colonel Dasuki.

Court Affirms Dasuki’s Bail In $2.1bn Arms Deal Trial

Court Affirms Dasuki's Bail In $2.1b Arms Deal TrialAn Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki and five others in the arms deal trial involving $2.1bn.

Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Dasuki on the ground that it is an indisputable fact that former NSA was admitted to bail in 2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of government.

Counsel to Dasuki, Mr Ahmed Raji applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted to the former NSA even though he has not been allowed to enjoy same since December 2015.

He urged Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Dasuki before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.

Dasuki and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf 22 count charge on that were transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court to which they all pleaded not guilty.

Others charged alongside Dasuki are former Minister of State for Finance, Mallam Bashir Yuguda; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Shuaibu Salisu; Dalhatu Investment; Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa.

Fayose’s Accounts: PDP Hails Judiciary For ‘Curbing EFCC Impunity’

I Won't Join APC For Ekiti 2018 Poll, Fayose InsistsThe faction of the Mr Ahmed Makarfi Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has lauded Nigeria’s judiciary for curbing what it described as the ‘impunity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’ by unfreezing the accounts of Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank PLC.

The party, which forecloses the possibility of changing its nomenclature ahead of the 2019 general elections, disclosed its readiness to enter into merger with other like-minded political associations in the country to be able to dislodge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming presidential poll.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday ordered the EFCC and the Zenith Bank to unfreeze Mr Fayose’s accounts, which had earlier been restricted for allegedly containing a lodgement of 2.99 billion Naira being part of the 4.9 billion Naira arms fund received from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

The party’s spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke in Ise Ekiti during a scholarship scheme instituted by the Ex-Minister of State for Works, said but for Judiciary, those conferred with constitutional immunity would have allegedly been clamped into jail by the APC-led federal government, just in a bid to muzzle the opposition.

Adeyeye said: “We in the PDP family are particularly happy with the judgement, because it will help in curbing the reign of impunity under President Buhari’s government.

“The EFCC acted against Governor Fayose as if it was not a creation of the constitution. It acted lawlessly and as if individual’s rights to own an account as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution no longer exists.

“We really applaud the role of judiciary in the way it has been adjudicating on some political issues. But for their roles, the nation will by now be witnessing a full blown dictatorship”.

Mr Adeyeye aid that the PDP was well prepared to defeat the APC in the forthcoming 2019 elections, describing the party(PDP) as the strongest party in African continent.

The party’s spokesman accused the APC of destroying the fortunes of the country since President Buhari came on board in 2015 and plunged the people into unwarranted economic recession.

“The PDP is well prepared for the task ahead, particularly for 2019. We are not ruling out the possibility of merging with other political parties, because there could be merger which our party can be part of.

“As we speak now, the PDP remains the strongest party in Nigeria and Africa. We are now more united than ever.

“All the serving and former governors, members of the National Assembly, all the State chairmen of the party are now on one side. They are all supporting Alhaji Makarfi caretaker committee.

“The factional case pending in the court of Appeal will soon be
settled and the PDP will thereafter become a real united party that
can withstand any election. Only few ones are rebellious who allowed themselves to be used by the ruling government ,” he stated.

The PDP spokesman further predicted that there would soon be a huge implosion in APC that would consume the party, predicating this on the conflicting and like-minded political ideology of the members of the party.

“Half of the APC members are now aggrieved. They have been frustrated and if you see the kind of overtures they are making to us, you will be marveled,” he added.

Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose’s Accounts

Court Orders Immediate De-freezing of Governor Fayose's AccountsA Federal High court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to lift the restriction placed on some accounts belonging to Governor Ayodele Fayose in Zenith Bank.

The court also set aside an earlier order of a Federal High court, Lagos empowering the EFCC to freeze two accounts domiciled in the new generation bank.

The court has consequently ordered the EFCC to immediately defreeze the two accounts belonging to the governor without further delay, on the account that the anti-graft agency did not follow due process in confiscating them.

Delivering his judgement, the presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the rights of the governor had been unconstitutionally infringed upon, considering the circumstance of his office.

Justice Taiwo declared that apart from the immunity which Mr Fayose currently enjoyed as a sitting governor under section 308 of the constitution, it was wrong for the EFCC to have gone ahead to seize his two accounts in apparent perpetuity without first investigating him or making him a party.

He averred that rather than the EFCC freezing the governor’s accounts directly through the third party who did not enjoy any mandate from him, the governor himself ought to have been first investigated and brought into the picture.

The judge described Fayose as “a genuinely deprived person who rushed to the court to seek constitutional protection”.

The judge thereby gave a mandatory order the de-freezing, unblocking and making operational the two accounts by the respondents.

He said it was also the duty of any presiding judge to protect the said constitution and its interpretations whenever the need arises.

“The Plaintiff is entitled to be heard before his property or money can be seized, doing otherwise will amount to denying him fair hearing and constitutional rights”, he said.

The judge however refused to grant other relief sought by the governor, including a perpetual injunction restraining EFCC or its agents from further tampering with his property, and another one asking for payment of N5billion as exemplary damages.

“This court will not shield any person from due investigation and since Police cannot be stopped from investigating a crime, same goes for the First Respondent so as not to whittle down its functions”, the judge said.

EFCC lead counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo was absent at the court but Fayose’s lead counsel, Ozekhome, in his reaction described the judgment as the best to be so made the EFCC in history, saying it would checkmate the agency against years of brazen arbitrariness and excesses.

The EFCC had on June 21, 2016 confiscated the two accounts having allegedly contained a sum of N2.99billion out of the N2.3 billion arms money allegedly drawn by the governor from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki to prosecute his governorship election in 2014.

Fayose through his lawyer, Mr Mike Ozekhome approached the court and sought for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, which involved the de-freezing of the two accounts.

Group Wants Corrupt Persons Who Return Looted Funds Punished

Former DPO,10-year jail term,Voluntary return of looted funds or option of plea bargain is not deterrent enough for persons indicted to have looted Nigeria’s funds in the war against corruption, a group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, said on Friday.

Giving instances of persons that they want to face punishments, the group claims that the former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Abdullahi Dikko, had returned one billion Naira to the Federal Government and insisted that voluntary return of loot was not enough.

‘Go And Sin No More’

In a statement, the Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran, said: “It is very imperative for Nigerians to understand the details of what constitute the ‘plea bargain’ being offered to some suspects of corruption or the ‘go and sin no more’ attitude which is apparently being applied as in Dikko and some other suspected corruption criminals’ cases”.

The group claimed that in recent developments, the former Comptroller-General was reported to have returned one billion Naira to the FG, just as a former Minister of State for Defense, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has signed an undertaking with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to return 480 million Naira as ‘ill-gotten gains’ under their watch while in office.

Out of the 480 million Naira he has returned 100 million Naira to the Federal Government.

The ex-Custom boss has been under investigation by the EFCC for allegedly diverting about 40 billion Naira during his administration as head of Customs between August 2009 and August 2015, while Obanikoro’s case was about his alleged role in the diversion of 4.7 billion Naira from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Mr Adeniran expressed dissatisfaction with the developments given the gravity of the crimes in question.

He said: “Our Coalition has always insisted on punishing culprits of corruption to serve as deterrent to other corruption criminals and the potentially corrupt persons in the country.

“The non-application of punitive measures against persons guilty of corruption would make the whole anti-corruption war a huge joke, a waste of time, energy and resources.

“We are aware that part of the conditions for plea bargain, given to accused persons, who are penitent, are forfeiting of properties and pleading guilty. We acknowledge the necessity to differentiate between penitent corruption criminals and recalcitrant ones, but we insist that the return of loots is not far-reaching enough if the war against corruption will achieve enduring success.

“Our position is that, it is correct to treat those who admit their guilt voluntarily and those that make the state to expend resources energy and time before their conviction is achieved differently, we agree to that extent.

“But our position is that those that opt for plea bargain should nonetheless not be allowed to go scot-free; they should hence be stripped of all their properties and monies as well as honours that could have been bestowed on some of them – they should be made to start life anew. All of their material possessions should be deemed as proceeds of corruption and therefore confiscated by the state. Then they can be told to ‘go and sin no more'”.

‘Jail According To Loot Size’

Continuing, he said: “As for the recalcitrant ones of should of course be made to face the full constitutional and judicial consequences of their crimes. They should be put in jail according to size of their loots, even up to life imprisonment”.

The CACOL is also suggesting life imprisonment for convicts that stole any amount above one billion Naira, insisting that they should be made to work diligently for their own upkeep via whatever skills they possess previously or has been able to learn behind the bars.

“They should be used as objects to educate the young, the youth and all when they go on excursion to the prisons, seeing former corrupt leaders in such situation will certainly serve to deter the potentially corrupt,” the group highlighted.

It further advised that whatever assets traced to such convicts should be deemed to be proceeds of corruption and confiscated by the Nigerian state.