By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Federal Government said yesterday it did not immediately comply with the judgement of an ECOWAS Court to release former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, because of the need to study the document.
The government also yesterday moved to consolidate the charges against Dasuki, barely 24 hours after the ECOWAS Court judgement
Salihu Isah, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, said the government needed to fully understand the content of the court’s proceedings and judgement before reacting.
“We cannot just react. We will first of all study the judgement to understand its content before taking a stand,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday moved to consolidate charges against the former NSA,
seeking leave of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, to merge separate criminal charges it preferred against Dasuki before two judges of the court.
To that effect, the government yesterday persuaded trial Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, who is trying Dasuki on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged N32billion fraud, to defer further proceeding on the matter till October 21.
The request was to enable the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, and Dasuki’s lawyers, to have a meeting with the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, with a view to harmonising modalities for the proposed consolidation.
In the instant case, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleged that Dasuki connived with a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Executive Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa, to divert funds.
It alleged that the defendants siphoned over N32billion from accounts in the office of the NSA operated with both the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions.
The funds were allegedly distributed to delegates that attended the Presidential Primary Election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held in Abuja, a process that saw the emergence of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party.
Two firms through which the fund was allegedly diverted- Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referal Hospital Limited, were also joined as defendants in the matter.
Meanwhile, a second judge, Justice Peter Affen, is handling another 22-count charge that the Federal Government also entered against Dasuki before the same court.
The charge which borders on alleged N19.4bn fraud, equally has a former Minister of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa and his son, Sagir Attahiru, as defendants.
EFCC alleged that the stolen fund was part of about $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms but illegally diverted into personal pockets.
A company it said served as conduit pipe for the alleged diversion, Dahaltu Investment Limited, was cited as the 4th defendant in the matter.