The trial of Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), has been Adjourned to May 23, this is as the Department of Security Service (DSS) failed Tuesday to produce Dasuki before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.
Dasuki’s is facing corruption charges as brought against him and others by the Federal Government
At the resumed hearing of the case, Tuesday, counsel to the EFCC Oluwaleke Atolagbe informed Justice Baba Yusuf that he had made efforts through the EFCC to contact the DSS to produce the first defendant in court and regretted that at the time the court was sitting his efforts did not yield any result.
He said he would not know why Dasuki was not in court and pleaded with the Judge that the lead counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, was on another assignment and would soon be in court. Atolagbe said Jacobs was in better position to tell the court why Dasuki was not brought before the court.
But counsel to one of the co accused, Salisu Shuaib, a former Director of Finance of the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), Chief Akin Olujimi said that the coming into court of Jacob would be of no use in the absence of the first defendant (Dasuki).
Olujimi told the court that the prosecution had failed to produce the defendant in court and ought to admit that and asked for adjournment.
The SAN informed Justice Yusuf that it is settled in law that trial cannot go ahead in the absence of the defendant and prayed the Judge to grant adjournment to the prosecution to enable them take steps to produce Dasuki in Court on the adjourned date.
Olujimi also asked the court to issue a stern warning to the prosecution to be serious in the trial and to ensure that Dasuki is produced in court at all stages of the trial as demanded by law.
Counsel to Aminu Baba-Kusa, another accused and former Executive at NNPC, Mr Solomon Umor said: “ordinarily the prosecution ought to apply for a bench warrant against Dasuki for a failure to appear in court for trial but noted that in the instance case, the prosecution would not do so because they are the one responsible for the absence of Dasuki because of his unwarranted detention.
“Lets the truth be told here that it is the Federal Government that is frustrating this trial because it wants to eat its cake and have it at the same time.
By this I mean the government wanted the first defendant tried for criminal matter and yet it was not ready to allow the defendant have access to his lawyers or even to court to face that trial.
“I would have asked that the defendants in this case be discharged and allow to go home pending the time the prosecution would get serious for their trial. But I will reluctantly concede to one more adjournment be granted to the prosecution.
“Let me say that this adjournment should go with stern warning to the prosecution should not come before this court with another story because the defendants must not be held to ransom by the unwilling prosecution.”
In his ruling, Yusuf said that that it was the responsibility of the prosecution to produce the defendant in court as required by law and thereafter adjourned the case to May, 23.