Court Orders FG To Produce Dasuki On February 16th


Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Federal Government to produce the immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), in court on February 16. The judge made the order with respect to the charges of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms preferred against Dasuki by the Federal Government.

The four counts preferred against the former NSA before Justice Ademola were unrelated to two other separate charges bordering on alleged diversion of arms funds pending against him and others before two judges of the Federal Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

Dasuki was re-arrested earlier this month by the operatives of the Department of State Services shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison upon fulfilling the conditions of bail earlier granted him in December 2015 by Justice Yusuf Baba of the FCT High Court in Maitama.

The former NSA is scheduled to appear along with his co-accused persons before Justice Yusuf on Thursday (today) for the commencement of his trial with respect to the 19 counts of diversion of about N32bn arms funds preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Comission.

The Federal Government in the five counts preferred against Dasuki before Justice Ademola accused the former NSA of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering involving about N84.6m.

On Wednesday, Justice Ademola made the order for the production of the accused person in court after both the prosecution and the defence lawyers withdrew various interlocutory applications they had earlier filed. The judge expressed concern over Dasuki’s absence in court on Wednesday. He said:

“I am worried that the accused is not here. Government and whoever is concerned must endeavour to do the necessary thing. The accused having been formally charged in court, must be produced in court for trial on the appointed days in compliance with provisions of the law.”

Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), reminded the judge that the court had in an earlier ruling dispensed with the presence of the accused persons during the hearing of interlocutory applications which the Wednesday’s proceedings were scheduled for.

But the judge said since all interlocutory applications had been withdrawn, the former NSA must be produced on February 16 for trial to commence. Earlier, counsel for the Federal Government, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), withdrew an application earlier filed by the Federal Government, seeking revocation of bail granted to Dasuki on November 3, 2015.

The judge adjourned the matter till February 16 for commencement of trial restating his order that the accused must be produced in court. He also said that he would deliver his pending ruling on the prosecution’s application for witness protection before proceeding to trial on February 16. He fixed an additional trial date for February 17.