Alleged Illegal Arms Possession: No Bail No Trial, Dasuki Tells Court

Alleged Illegal Arms Possession: No Bail No Trial, Dasuki Tells Court
Sambo Dasuki (file)

 

A former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has written to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja of his resolve to avoid court hearing until the prosecution obeys his bail.

Dasuki is facing trial at the Federal High Court on alleged illegal possession of firearms among other charges.

The former NSA who is facing three other separate trials for alleged abuse of office while he was NSA, has repeatedly been granted bail by various courts.

However, the Nigerian government has yet to comply with the court orders.

In a letter, dated November 12, 2018, Dasuki asked the court to: “absolve him of any obligation of appearing at his trial, since the office of the State Security Service, an agent of government detaining him has also refused to respect the various court orders for his bail.”

Responding to the letter, the prosecution counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi, asked the court to order the continuation of Dasuki’s trial in absentia.

The prosecutor argued that the cases for which Dasuki has been denied bail were independent of the instant case and described the defendant’s action as an affront to the court.

In a short ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed said the court would not grant the request by the prosecution to proceed with Dasuki’s trial in absentia.

The judge held that the court would not grant the request unless the prosecution deposes to an affidavit accusing the defence of willfully avoiding the court.

According to him, the court had in its previous decision on April 10 settled the issue of Dasuki’s alleged refusal to attend the court hearing.

Justice Mohammed further said the decision requested by the prosecution can only follow the applicant’s compliance with the ruling of the court April, 10.

He also refused to treat the request made by Dasuki in his letter and ordered the defence to properly communicate the court, for the letter to be included in its record.

The trial was adjourned till Monday next week for the parties to comply with the orders of the court.

Court Grants Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki Bail

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

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

This is the sixth bail that will be granted to the former NSA. However, he has remained in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, during the hearing on Monday described Dasuki’s continuous detention over the last two and a half years as an aberration to the rule of law and the contrition.

She, therefore, granted the former NSA bail in the sum of N200 million and two sureties.

The sureties according to her, must not be lower than grade 16 in the civil service and where they are private citizens they must be owners of landed properties in Asokoro, Maitama, Utako or Garki area of Abuja.

Also, each surety is expected to pay a sum of N100 million as bail guarantee into the court’s litigation account.

Meanwhile, the judge took a swipe at the (DSS), stating that it cannot give itself the powers to met out punishment at a person, as only the court has the powers to do so at the end of a trial.

She, therefore, 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.

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

On his part, the former NSA also filed a Fundamental Right to Liberty suit, asking the court to order the DSS to release him after two and a half years in detention without trial.

He also asked the court to award him N5billion as general damages and asked it to order the DSS as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation to tender a public apology to him for a long, unlawful and illegal detention.

Justice Ojukwu, however, concluded that since bail had been granted, the court is not inclined to award damages.

The Federal Government had arrested Dasuki in 2015 over an alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.

Subsequently, he was arraigned on 18 counts but his trial has since then suffered series of delays.

In May 2018, the trial suffered a fresh delay as the Federal Government filed 32 amended charges against him and three others.

Alleged Fund Diversion: FG Files Amended Charges Against Dasuki

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

 

The Federal Government has filed a 25-count amended charge against a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Colonel Dasuk’s re-arraignment by the government on Thursday at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja is the second in 24 hours.

READ ALSO: FG Files 32 Amended Charges Against Dasuki, Others

The former NSA, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, was re-arraigned along with a former Minister of State for Finance, Badhir Yuguda; former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir Dalhatu, and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Limited.

A former Director of Finance and Supply at the office of NSA under Dasuki, Mr Salisu Shuaib, was, however, dropped from the list of the accused persons, unlike the charge filed by the government on Wednesday.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, told reporters in the nation’s capital that after the examination of the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the alleged money diversion, it became imperative to drop Shuaib from the charge.

Jacobs explained that instead of being a co-accused person, the former Director of Finance would be used as a witness to testify for the Federal Government in the trial of the five defendants.

Part of the charge against Dasuki was that he allegedly misappropriated and engaged in a criminal breach of trust by purportedly transferring the sum of N3.5 billion into the account of Dalhatu Investment Limited, an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code Act.

His co-defendant, Yuguda, was also alleged to have dishonestly misappropriated the sum of N1.9 billion and another N200 million he allegedly transferred to the bank account of Jabbama Ada Global Services, an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code Act.

On their part, Bafarawa, Sagir and Dalhatu Investment were charged for allegedly receiving the sum of N4.6 billion from the office of the NSA, an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Act.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf adjourned the trial of the defendants till July 9 and 10.

SERAP Drags FG To UN Over El-Zakzaky, Dasuki

SERAP Drags FG To UN Over El-Zakzaky, Dasuki

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the United Nations over the detention of leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, as well as the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

In a statement by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organisation accused the Federal Government of disobeying court orders.

The petition was dated May 11, 2018, and addressed to UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr Diego Garcia-Sayan.

El-Zakzaky was detained after members of the Shiite group clashed with soldiers in Zaria in December 2015 while Colonel Dasuki is being accused of diverting $2.1 billion belonging to the Federal Government while he served as the NSA.

In its petition, SERAP asked the UN to prevail on the government to end “persistent disobedience of court rulings and orders”.

It also asked the UN to uphold the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international obligations on the protection of the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

The organisation said, “Selective enforcement of court orders if not urgently addressed would ultimately put the rule of law in Nigeria under siege.”

“Persistent and apparently deliberate disobedience of court rulings by the Nigerian authorities is an affront to the supremacy of the Constitution and the independence of the judiciary and if not urgently addressed may lead to self-help and undermine the authorities’ oft-expressed commitment to fighting corruption,” it added.

SERAP stressed further that protecting judicial independence is an obligation to be guaranteed and not a privilege that states may grant.

It noted that disobeying court rulings directly violates the fundamental principles of the rule of law and separation of powers.

It, however, urged the UN to publicly condemn the alleged disobedience of court orders by the Nigerian authorities and prevail on them to refrain from any purported threats or interference that may hamper court’s independence as the supreme guardian of the nation’s constitution and laws.

The petition reads in part: “Disobedience of court orders is a serious threat to the independence and integrity of the judiciary and would undermine the crucial role of the judiciary in combating corruption and obstruct access to justice, contrary to international standards, including Article 11 of the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.

“SERAP also notes Principles 2 and 4 of the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary mention the requirement of non-interference to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. Such lack of interference implies that no authority, private group or individual may interfere in judicial decisions; they must respect and abide by the decisions of the judiciary.

“Nigerian authorities have disobeyed court orders in several cases including those involving the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and SERAP. Many state governments in Nigeria also continue to flagrantly disobey court orders with almost complete impunity.

“Other court orders that the government continue to disobey include: the ECOWAS court judgment ordering the Nigerian authorities to provide free and quality education to all Nigerian children without discrimination; the rulings by Nigerian courts ordering the authorities to establish education banks to assist poor students to obtain loans to pursue tertiary education and the restoration of people’s bank to give loans without collaterals to underprivileged citizens.

“At least two of the court rulings SERAP recently obtained from the Federal High Court have been disobeyed by the Nigerian authorities. The first involves a case with suit number FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 delivered in March 2016 where Justice Mohammed Idris ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to widely publish details on the spending of recovered stolen funds by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999.

“The details ordered to be published by the court include: (a) Detailed information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria (b) The amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending (c) Details of projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent.

“The second court judgment involves a case with suit number FHC/CS/964/2016 delivered in July 2017 where Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordered the government to tell Nigerians the circumstances under which allegedly recovered stolen assets were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.

“However, the Nigerian authorities would seem to have only partially obeyed the court orders in this case. The authorities are not known to have appealed any of these court judgments and rulings.

“Under both the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights treaties, to which Nigeria is a state party, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, everyone is entitled to the right to an effective remedy, and to seek justice in courts in cases of violations of human rights.”

I Did Not Collect Any Money From Dasuki, Secondus Tells EFCC

Secondus Asks Presidency To Stop Benue Killings
File photo: Uche Secondus

 

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied his alleged link to the $2.1billion arms deal of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki rtd.

Secondus, in a letter addressed to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and titled “Re: Mention of Prince Uche Secondus on the list of Looters of Nigeria Economy” and copied to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation as well some Foreign Missions in Nigeria, insisted that he never collected or sent anybody to collect money on his behalf at any time from the former National Security Adviser.

Also, in a statement signed by his media Adviser, Ike Abonyi, Secondus said the case of the inclusion of his name in alleged looters list is already in court and wondered why the EFCC will not approach the court with its evidence if any.

“The attention of EFCC has been drawn to the suit before the Chief Judge of Rivers state in Port Harcourt where an interlocutory order was granted against the defendants and same restrained them from further publishing the name of Secondus.

“It is our hope that the subsisting Order of Court should be obeyed and if the Commission has evidence of collection of money from the office of the National Security Adviser by Our Client, (as an Agency of the Federal Government which is the 2nd Defendant in Suit No: PHC/1013/2018), the Commission should avail such information to the Federal Government for its defence of the Suit.

“Our Client wishes for the umpteenth time to state that he neither collected money from the office of the National Security Adviser nor instructed anybody to collect money on his behalf. He also wishes to state that he never had a Special Assistant by name Chukwurah who is being touted as the one that collected the sum of ₦200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) on his behalf,” the statement read in part.

Secondus also alleged that the continued listing of his name on the list of alleged looters might be a deliberate ploy by the EFCC to implicate him and scandalise his name.

DSS Detention: Supreme Court Dismisses Dasuki’s Appeal

dasuki

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by the immediate past National Security Adviser, Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki in seeking to compel the Department of State Service to release him from detention.

Dasuki had earlier challenged the validity of his trial while being detained by the DSS since December 29, 2015, a detention he claimed was ‘unlaw.’

Making pronouncement on the appeal on Friday, Justice Ejembi Eko in a lead judgement dismissed the appeal as lacking in merit.

Justice Ejembi added that “an appeal brought not bonafide but merely to delay a pending action or to gag other prospective actions is clearly an abuse of court.

He further held that “the case is remitted to the learned trial judge, Justice Baba Yusuf of the FCT high court for hearing; with further directive that it shall be given accelerated hearing.”

Justices Dattijo Muhammad, John Okoro Inyang, Centus Nweze and Amina Augie, who were also on the panel unanimously agreed with the lead judgement.

On June 15, 2016, the Court of Appeal dismissed Dasuki’s plea that his trial before Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory be suspended until the DSS obeyed a valid order granted by a court of competent jurisdiction which had granted him bail.

Dissatisfied with the position of the appellate court, the Former NSA headed to the Supreme Court to seek redress.

Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Trial Till March

Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Trial Till March
File photo

 

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, has adjourned further hearing in the 19 counts of criminal diversion of $2.1billion involving former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and others.

A statement from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) revealed that the trial was adjourned till March 22, following Dasuki’s absence in court on Wednesday.

Other defendants in the case include a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, and his son, Sagir; as well as a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, and Sagir’s firm, Dalhatu Investment.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired to divert the said money which was part of funds earmarked for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

At the resumed sitting on February 21, counsel to the EFCC Henry Ejiga told the court that the case was slated for hearing and expressed the readiness of the prosecution to go on.

However, the counsel representing the former NSA, Adeola Adedipe, apologised for Dasuki’s absence and informed the court of a pending application at the Supreme Court of which judgment was reserved for March 2.

He then urged the court to fix a date after the Supreme Court’s judgment.

Adedipe’s submission was not objected by the EFCC counsel.

The former NSA’s co-defendants had sought to be separately tried to ensure speedy trial.

Counsel to the EFCC Rotimi Jacobs, however, objected the application in a counter-argument.

He noted that Bafarawa, his son and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, were properly joined with Dasuki, Bashiru Yuguda and Shuaibu Salisu for their joint roles in the alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.

While urging the court to discountenance the application, Jacobs stressed that Dalhatu Investment owned by Bafarawa and his son was the receiver of the alleged stolen funds.

Justice Baba-Yusuf, in his ruling on October 19, 2017, refused the application, while relying on ACJA, 2015.

Dissatisfied, the defendants approached the Court of Appeal, urging it to order the trial court to separate the case.

The appeal also failed to succeed, prompting a further appeal to the Supreme Court, which judgment was reserved.

The court, in the circumstance, adjourned.

Lawyer Claims Metuh’s Life Under Threat

Metuh

Counsel to a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Olisa Metuh, in the ongoing arms deal trial, has told a Federal High Court that the lives of his clients Mr Metuh and the lead counsel in the case Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu are been threatened.

According to the lawyer, Mr Emeka Etiaba, the threats come as a result of the subpoena order of the court which had asked former president Goodluck Jonathan to testify in his case.

Etiaba, however, noted that they would not yield to the threats and insisted that the former President must testify in the case.

“This subpoena is one that has generated quite a lot of controversy, not just to our client but to myself.

“The threat goes to the life of the first defendant, myself and Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu.

“This will not make us change our mind as to whether His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, will come and testify or not. But we shall only plead with this honourable court to allow us make another attempt on December 11, 2017 at serving him with the subpoena,” he added.

Metuh has been standing trial for allegedly collecting 400 million Naira from the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki.

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.

Judge Orders DSS To Produce Dasuki In Court

Col. Dasuki To Take Fresh Plea In JanuaryThe Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday ordered the Department of State Service to produce the detained former National Security Adviser, Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court ruling will allow Dasuki testify in defence of the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh who is standing trial for allegedly diverting 400 million naira belonging to the government.

Metuh had applied to the Federal High Court to invite Dasuki as a witness in his trial but his request was denied by Justice Okon Abang.

Mr. Metuh, however, appealed the ruling and won at the Court of Appeal where the trial judge directed Justice Abang to fix a date which the DSS must produce Dasuki in court and other subsequent dates.

Dasuki had earlier been arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same court on a five-count criminal charge bothering on possession of firearms alone.

In the two new counts, the Federal Government alleged that between July 16 and 17 2015 at the Abuja residence, Colonel Dasuki was found to be in possession of the sum of a total sum of 210,000 US Dollars.

The Federal Government claimed that the monies were part of proceeds of unlawful deals, contrary to section 15(2) of the money laundering prohibition act 2011; charges which Colonel Dasuki denied in his plea.

He was again re-arraigned on April 6, 2017, before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on seven counts of criminal charges, bordering on illegal and unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition, as well as for money laundering offenses.

Dasuki, Elzakzaky Cannot Be Released Now – Lai Muhammad

Arewa/Biafra Threats: Do Not Panic, Lai Mohammed Tells NigeriansThe Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Lai Muhammad has stated that the detained former Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Ibrahim Elzakzaky cannot be released now as both are being held on the grounds of national security.

The minister in an interaction with journalists at his home town Oro in Kwara State after a Ramadhan public lecture noted that the Federal Government is in possession of damning evidences against the detained persons and would rather infringe on their personal freedom than putting the entire country at risk.

He noted that despite the evidences against the former Security Adviser, he refused to name or explain how the arms fund was shared, wondering how such a person should be released.

Commenting on the hate speeches and threat by some groups asking others to leave their environment, he blamed the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan and warned that government would not take it lightly with those fanning embers of disunity.

Read Also: El-Zakzaky Is In A House With His Family – Lai Mohammed

Dasuki’s Trial: Court Fixes Date For Ruling On Protection Of Witnesses

Again, Nigerian Government Seeks Secret Trial For Dasuki, ex-NSA ObjectsThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed June 15 to rule on the prosecution’s application in the case against the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Thursday fixed the date to give his ruling on the application filed by the prosecution to protect their witnesses when giving evidence in the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s action against Colonel Dasuki on the seven charges of unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering against him.

The prosecution applied to have their witnesses protected by giving evidence behind a screen, as they are security operatives and are at risk of harm.

They stated that one of their principal witnesses, who could no longer attend court, had suffered an accident resulting in broken limbs while the circumstances of the accident have yet to be uncovered.

The defence, however, argued that the prosecution previously applied for a similar order which was rejected, describing the current application as an abuse of process.