Counsel expresses worry over Dasuki’s absence in court

COUNSEL representing the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), in one of his cases before a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Joseph Daudu, on Tuesday, expressed worry over the absence of his client in court to attend his trial.

Dasuki was expected to appear on Tuesday before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 4, sitting at Maitama, Abuja, alongside a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu; former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Babakusa and two firms, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Refferal Hospital Limited but his absence in court stalled the hearing of the matter.

The defendants are being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on behalf of the Federal Government,   on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of trust to the tune of N13.5 billion.

When the matter was called, the former NSA was not in court. The second and third defendants, Salisu and Babakusa, were, however, in court.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, expressed surprise with the absence of Dasuki in court, saying he had the impression that the former NSA, who is the first defendant in the matter, was in the premises before the court sitting.

He, however, requested that the matter be stood down for one hour to enable him to find out why the Department of State Services (DSS), in whose custody the first defendant was, did not bring him to court.

Responding to this, Daudu told the court that ordinarily, he had no objection to standing the case down as requested by the prosecution counsel, but was interested in knowing why his client was not in court.

The senior advocate told the court that he was worried because Dasuki was still in DSS custody despite the fact that the former NSA was granted bail by competent courts of law.

On his part, counsel for the second defendant, Chief Akin Olujinmi, told the court that instead of standing the matter down as requested by the prosecution, the court should adjourn till today (Wednesday).

Olujinmi added that even if the matter was stood down, it was not certain that the DSS would bring Dasuki to court within the one hour requested.

The trial judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf, stated that the prosecution ought to be informed in time by the DSS if it would bring the first defendant to court or not.

The judge, therefore, adjourned the matter till today for continuation of hearing.