DSS Fails to Produce Dasuki in Court, Second Day Running

For second day running, the Department of State Security (DSS), failed to produce Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), former National Security Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, in court to continue with his trial for an alleged N13.5bn fraud.
The trial was stalled yet again, Wednesday, at the FCT High Court as the defendant was absent in court.
Tuesday, it was the same story as the secret police failed to produce him without any justifiable reason.
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had at the last sitting Tuesday, expressed surprise that Dasuki was not in court.
He had said: “I’m surprised he is not here”.
The counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daudu, had also expressed concerns about the absence of his client.
He said though Dasuki has been granted bail by the court but has not been allowed by the DSS to have control over his movement.
Akin Olujinmi, counsel to Shuaibu Salisu, the second defendant, who was present with Aminu Babakusa, third defendant, urged the court to adjourn to May 17, and compel the prosecution to present him.
At the resumed hearing, Wednesday, Dasuki’s counsel, Dauda said he did not get words from him whether he would be present in court or not.
Jacobs informed the court he tried to know reason why Dasuki was not brought to court but failed.
He said: “Yesterday, I promised he would be brought to court today (Wednesday), and I immediately contacted the Director, Legal Department of DSS, who told me that Dasuki’s absence in court yesterday was an oversight and that the defendant would be produced this morning.
“I made series of efforts when I noticed he was not in court this morning to contact the Director, but was unable to reach him, and I immediately contacted my client, the EFCC, who also approached the DSS.
“The information I received is that the first defendant will not come to court today on the grounds that he is indisposed.”
He then pleaded for adjournment.
But counsel to the defendants opposed the application for adjournment,
Daudu noted that “this appears to be an inter-agency issue”, and urged the court to “place on record that we are not trying to frustrate this trial as adjournment is at instance of the prosecution”.
Olujinmi, who aligned with the submission of Daudu, added, “it is the prosecution that has not allowed the trial to proceed”.
He noted that the excuse of “oversight” on the part of the DSS, “without an apology was irritating”.
“Your Lordship should direct that those keeping him in custody should ensure they are alive to their responsibility to the court,” Olujinmi added
The trial Judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, warned that the proceedings of the court should not be taken lightly, and strains between agencies should not be allowed to interfere with proceedings, adding “the prosecution counsel, whom I know is passionate with his work should be allowed to do his job”.
He however adjourned till July 11 for continuation of trial.
Dasuki, along with Salisu, a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA); Babakusa, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N13.5bn.

Author: News Editor

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