The trial of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and his co-defendants for alleged diversion of N13bn, part of funds said to be meant for procurement of arms, was stalled before Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s proceedings could not go on due to the failure of the operatives of the Department of State Service to produce the ex-NSA in court on time and the need for the other co-defendants to respond to an application by Dasuki to stop the trial.
The DSS only produced the ex-NSA in court on Tuesday at the point when Justice Affen was adjourning the case.
The judge adjourned till February 26.
Others who are being prosecuted along with the former NSA with respect to the 22 counts of N13bn fraud charges are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.
A development similar to what transpired in court on Tuesday had stalled the ex-NSA’s trial before Justice Baba Yusuf of the same Maitama Division of the FCT High Court on January 22.
Justice Yusuf had then adjourned Dasuki’s trial till February 4.
Dasuki is being prosecuted before the court on 19 counts of diversion of N32bn arms fund, along with a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu and a former Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa.
Aminu-Kausa’s two firms – Acacia Holdings Ltd and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are also part of the accused.
In the applications filed before the two judges, Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), argued that the prosecution lacked the right to continue to prosecute him.
Dasuki was re-arrested by operatives of the DSS on December 29, 2015 shortly after he was released from prison upon fulfilling the bail conditions granted him by Justice Yusuf on December 18.
This, in the view of Dasuki’s legal team, amounted to disobedience of the order granting bail to their client.