N13.5bn Arms Scam: Dasuki Loses Bid To Stop Trial
A former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) has lost the bid to stop his trial before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court , Abuja .
Dasuki ( first defendant) alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser; Aminu Babakusa, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited are being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N13, 570,000, 000.00( Thirteen Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy Million Naira).
Dasuki, through his counsel J. B. Dawodu, SAN, had, in a 19-paragraph affidavit, prayed the court to prohibit the prosecution from continuing with his trial on the grounds that he (Dasuki) was re-arrested after being granted bail by the court.
Counsel to the first defendant had also prayed the court for a stay of further proceedings pending the time he (Dasuki) would seek enforcement of his right to liberty as ordered by the court.
However, at the last adjourned date, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had told the court that the application for stay of proceedings filed by the counsel to the first defendant was intended to scuttle the trial.
Jacobs, in a 26-paragraph counter affidavit, described the application for stay of proceedings as an abuse of court process, adding that it was too ambitious.
According to him, ‘‘there is no order of this court that says that the first defendant cannot be re-arrested, if he is alleged to have committed another offence apart from this.
The application for stay of proceedings does not arise in this case at this stage because the first defendant has not filed any appeal.’’
Delivering his ruling today, Justice Baba-Yusuf said only one issue bordering on disobedience of court order was central to the case in the 19-paragraph affidavit filed by the counsel to the first defendant.
He, however, stated that the court did not give any order restraining the first defendant from being re-arrested, if another agency of the government had preferred any other criminal charges against him (Dasuki).
‘‘I do not agree that because the EFCC and the DSS are agencies of the Federal Government, the act of one can be attributed to the order,’’ he said.
Justice Baba-Yusuf further ruled that the prosecution had not acted in contempt of the court order and dismissed the application filed by the counsel to the first defendant.
Consequently, Justice Baba-Yusuf adjourned to March 23, 2016 for commencement of trial.