A former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, has vowed not to submit himself for trial any longer.
Dasuki, who is standing trial on alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering and also being prosecuted on three sets of charges with two of the sets relating to his alleged diversion of funds meant for purchase of arms, which is pending before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja, told a Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, that he had stopped to attend court for his trial.
When the case up before Justice Raji Mohammed, on Tuesday, a letter by Dasuki to the court, requested that he be allowed to stop submitting himself for trial.
The ex-NSA, who has been detained by the Department of State Service since December 29, 2105, said his request is anchored on the Federal Government’s continued refusal to comply with series of court orders granting him bail.
He cited five court orders, including one by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, that had ordered his release but continued to be violated by the Federal Government.
His letter dated November 12, 2018, was addressed to the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The letter personally signed by Dasuki, was titled, ‘Unabated persecution of Col. Mohammed Sambo (retd) by the Federal Government of Nigeria’.
He stated in the letter: “At this point, I strongly believe that there must be an end to this hypocrisy and lopsided/partisan rule of law.
“Since the Federal Government has resolved not to comply with judicial orders, directing my release, it is better for the court to also absolve me of the need to submit myself further prosecution.
“Justice should be evenly dispensed, as opposed to same, being in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
He said as part of the efforts to regain his freedom, he filed applications in three different courts complaining of the disobedience of court orders by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the State Security Service.
“These courts were however of the view that I should apply for the enforcement of my fundamental human rights, given the peculiar circumstances of the case,” Dasuki said.
He said his family was skeptical about filing such fundamental rights enforcement suit “given the high-handedness of the government and its resolve not to comply with any kind of order which admitted me to bail”.
The lawyer, who represented him during the proceedings, Victor Okwudiri, brought his client’s letter to the attention of the presiding judge.
He claimed that the defence team was not aware of the letter personally signed by Dasuki until they got to court on Tuesday.
“We were not aware of the letter until this morning when we got to court. But from the what I could got from the letter when I rushed through it this morning is that he is complaining about his plight in the custody of DSS,” Okwudiri said.
But the prosecuting counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), told the judge that Dasuki had informed operatives that he would not come to court since he had sent a letter to the court.
He said DSS operatives, although, could force him to court, chose not to not to take such action to accord the defendant some respect due to him as a former NSA.
He described as an affront to the court, Dasuki’s decision not to appear in court but to write a letter instead.
Ruling, Justice Mohammed noted that he had in his ruling delivered on April 10, 2018 directed the prosecution to file an affidavit stating the facts whenever the defendant, on his own decided not to appear in court.
He said the affidavit must be filed for him to be convinced that the defendant willfully stayed away from court.
He said the prosecution having failed to file an affidavit in respect of similar occurrence on Tuesday, he would adjourn the matter to enable them to comply.
He said he would continue with the trial whether Dasuki was present in court or not.
The case was adjourned till November 19 for continuation of trial.