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Dasuki: FG Not Ready For Trial, Prefers Ex-NSA In Detention – Former AGF, Olujimi

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Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) on Wednesday accused the Nigerian Government of frustrating the trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) in a charge of money-laundering brought against him.

Olujimi told an FCT High Court that it was irritating for government to have persistently and consistently refused to produce Dasuki in Court to face in the criminal charges even when the Ex-NSA was in the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS) in flagrant disobedience to the bails granted him by several courts.

Since 2015, when Dasuki was arraigned before different high courts, he has been granted bail by Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Justice Ahmed Rahmat Mohammed of the Federal High Court as well as Justice Peter Affen and Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Courts.

The ECOWAS Court had also in a judgement ordered the Federal Government to release him immediately from the unlawful custody and imposed a fine of N15,000,000 on the government but up to now all the judgments have not been obeyed.

The outburst of the former Minister of Justice today at resumed hearing was provoked by the failure of the government for the second time in one week to produce Dasuki in court to enable him to defend himself.

The senior counsel said that the defence of government that the inability to produce Dasuki in court for trial was an oversight was not acceptable and not tenable because the government having taken custody of Dasuki in spite of the bail granted him by four judges, ought to have created records on the date the defendant was to be brought to court to defend himself in the charges against him and in the interest of justice.

Counsel to the Federal Government Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) had recalled before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, that Dasuki was not produced in Court on Tuesday and that today he was not brought to court by those keeping him in custody.

Jacobs told the judge that he has made several attempts to reach the authority of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to liase with the authority of the DSS to produce the ex-NSA in court.

The senior counsel said that the only response he received after the EFCC had linked up with DSS was that the defendant (Dasuki) would not be brought to court.

The prosecution counsel apologised to the court on the development and requested Justice Baba Yusuf to grant him an adjournment so as to get the defendant in court.

Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Joseph Daudu who expressed shock over the development expressed sympathy with the prosecution, adding that the inter-agency issues would have been responsible for the refusal of the DSS to bring his client to court.

Daudu recalled that the court had earlier granted his client bail to enable him come for the defence from his house but regretted that in spite of the fact that court orders were meant to be obeyed, the Federal Government had chosen to obey several bail orders.

Chief Olujimi who stood for Salisu Shuaib, a former Director of Finance in Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), in his comment noted that the other defendants in the criminal charges had been coming regularly for the trial but lamented that the prosecution had not been ready to allow the trial to flow.

“I find it irritating for somebody to say that the failure to produce a defendant in a criminal matter is an oversight.

“No one should foist a state of hopelessness on the court but I urge the court to order that those keeping Dasuki should ensure that they are alive to their responsibility of producing him in the next adjourned day.”

It was the fifth time that Dasuki was not brought to court.

Although Jacob had promised that Dasuki would be produced in court on Wednesday, he however, failed as DSS did not bring him to court.

In his short ruling, Justice Baba Yusuf admitted that the prosecution counsel had always been passionate to have the trial conducted but that his dilemma emanated from the fact that he was not in control of the defendant.

The Judge, however, directed Jacob to pass the message to his clients that there was the need for them to produce Dasuki in court as required by law.

Justice Yusuf has fixed July 11 and 12, 2017 for the commencement of the trial.


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