Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday granted prayers of the Federal Government to proceed with the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki(rtd) should his lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), failed to appear in court at the next sitting.
The Judge consequently adjourned till April 9 and 10 for continuation of trial.
Dasuki is standing trial on allegation bordering on illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
At the resumed trial Thursday, the court registrar read out a letter from Joseph Daudu’s chambers informing the court that he (Daudu) was attending the Body of Bencher’s meeting at the Supreme Court.
He prayed the court to adjourned the matter to enable him appear at the next adjourned date.
However, prosecution counsel, Oladipo Okpeseyin (SAN), who had at previous sitting complained of incessant adjournments at the instance of the defendant raised an objection to Daudu’s letter.
Okpeseyin said although, he has been served with the letter from the defence lawyer praying for an adjournment, the letter was pregnant with unanswered questions.
He said “as innocent as the letter looks, it is pregnant because this letter is asking the court to decide whether the rights and privileges of a citizen with the authority of the court is subservient to that of the body of benchers.
“Whichever way the court resolves the issue, we are bound by the decision of the court. On our part, we are ready. Our witnesses are also here in court. The ACJA has specified time and period for adjournment.
“If the defence counsel fails to appear in court at the next sitting, the court is at liberty to proceed with the case”.
Justice Mohammed thereafter adjourned the matter to 9th and 10th April, 2018, with a nod to the prosecution to go ahead with the trial should the defendant’ counsel failed to appear in court at the next adjourned date.
Recall that Daudu had also on Jan 18, 2018 prayed the court for an adjournment to attend to other issues.
Dasuki was arraigned before the court on December 2015, on a five counts charge of alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
The Federal Government had accused Dasuki of being in possession of five Tavor X95 assault rifles with numbers 45801168, 45801169, 45801175, 45801176 and 4801199 unlawfully.
The other items allegedly found in the residences of the accused person in Abuja and Sokoto, were ammunition and cash in various foreign currencies.