Court Decides April 4 Whether to Free Dasuki or Not

Will former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, be allowed to go home a free man, without trial?
This is the question a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will be deciding come April 4.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola is expected to give the ruling whether there is merit or not in Dasuki’s application seeking to quash charges against him.
Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), was arraigned by the Department of State Services (DSS) on charges bordering on alleged possession of forearms and money laundering.
At resume hearing, Counsel to Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), informed the court that the defendant filed a motion seeking to quash charges preferred against him for prosecution`s failure to obey court orders.
Daudu said that the application prayed for an order to prevent the prosecution from further prosecuting the former NSA.
Dasuki told the Court that his continued detention by the Department of State Service was scaring off foreign investors from the country.
But the Federal Government accused the ex-National Security Adviser of working to evade trial for his crimes against the state.
The lead prosecuting lawyer, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), warned that if Dasuki is allowed to frustrate his trial, it would be a tragedy for the nation.
Okpeseyi argued that Dasuki’s application, in which he sought among others, to restrain the state from further prosecuting him and or quash the charge against him, was intended to obstruct government’s prosecutorial powers.
He contended that by his application, the ex-NSA seeks to be discharged without being subjected to trial.
Dasuki’s lawyer, however, said there was no point to continue with trial since the prosecution had floated the court orders, which granted the defendant permission to travel abroad for medical treatment, which the court granted on September, 1 and Octobe 3, 2015.
Daudu said that the defendant still in DSS’ custody despite the court order for his release.
He said, as counsel representing Dasuki, “we could not have access to him for us to prepare for his defence and my lord, his continued incarceration, means that the prosecution breached the order of the court.”
Daudu argued that section 36 sub section 5 of the constitution provides that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty.
“My lord, I wonder how the judgment of this matter would look like if the order of the court is not obeyed and section 66 (A) of the constitution override the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA).
He, therefore, urged the court to grant his application.
In his submission, the prosecution counsel Okpeseyi (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the application for being an attempt to frustrate the trial.
Okpeseyi countered that order 26 of the rules of the court mandates counsel to reply brief on points of law.
He said, since the defendant did not raise any point of law in his submission, the prosecution urged the court to discountenance his submission.
Okpeseyi contended that the application was meant to restrict the powers of the prosecution to prosecute the case which the law frowned at.”
There is confusion between powers of the court, the rights and privileges of the defendant to be heard and that right cannot stop the powers of the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute”, he said.
“The defendant admitted in their notion that the arrest and re-arrest of Dasuki has nothing to do with current charge before the court.
“The Federal Government did not stop Dasuki from travelling for his medical treatment abroad, his passport has not been seized,” he said.
Okpeseyi argued that, it was not obtainable to say that when Dasuki was granted bail in one charge and if that can cover all the charges in another courts.
While arguing his client’s application which was filed on February 11, 2016, Daudu said his client’s continued detention would give foreign investors the impression that Nigeria was a country where court orders were not respected.
Daudu said, “The most obvious evidence of the breach of the orders of the court is that the defendant is still in the custody and brought to this court by the Department of State Service.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, adjourned till April 4 for ruling.

Author: News Editor

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