THE Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, has streamlined the two cases involving former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others at two different courts and transferred both to Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf.
Dasuki and four others, 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 (NNPC); Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N13,570,000,000 before Justice Baba-Yusuf, sitting at FCT High Court Court 4, Maitama, Abuja.
EFCC is prosecuting the former NSA and four others: Bashir Yuguda, a former Minister of State for Finance; Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State; his son, Sagir and their firm, Dalhatu Investment, for N13 billion fraud before Justice Peter Afem of FCT High Court 24.
Speaking with journalists on Friday at the court premises, the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) stated that all lawyers in the case were tired of the undue delay in the cases, hence they agreed that the two cases should be transferred to the same judge.
Jacobs confirmed that the Chief Judge had transferred the case before Justice Afem to the court of Justice Baba-Yusuf.
The senior advocate had, at the last sitting on October 5, moved an application for the consolidation of the cases before the two judges.
Asked if the cases would be consolidated now that they were before one judge, Jacobs said, “the issue of consolidation will not arise again. Once the two cases are before the same judge, the issue of consolidation will not arise.”
He informed that the cases would now be tried separately before Justice Baba-Yusuf.
When the case before Justice Baba-Yusuf was called during the court sitting, prosecution counsel H.O. Ato Lager informed the court that the counsels met with Justice Afem who confirmed to them that the case before him had been transferred to Court 4.
In view of this, the prosecution counsel then requested for an adjournment of the two cases for trial or further directive.
The defence counsels aligned themselves with the request of the prosecution for an adjournment.
Ruling on the request, the presiding judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf stated that the implication of the transfer of the case before Justice Afem to his court was that the prosecution should notify the defendants in that case of their re-arraignment before him.
He then adjourned the case to November 16, 2016 for re-arraignment of the defendants.