By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), yesterday, took fresh plea before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama.
Dasuki who has been in detention since November 3, 2015, was docked alongside former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and his son, Sagir, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Others arraigned with them are the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
The defendants are answering to a 22-count charge of alleged illegal diversion of N19.4bn from ONSA account.
EFCC alleged that the stolen fund was part of about $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms to combat terrorism in the North-East.
A company it said served as conduit pipe for the alleged diversion, Dahaltu Investment Limited, was cited as the 4th defendant in the matter.
The re-arraignment of the defendants followed the transfer of the case from Justice Peter Affen, who was formerly handling their trial, to Justice Baba-Yusuf.
Dasuki is facing two separate charges before the court over the alleged arms purchase deal.
Judge of the court, Justice Ishaq Bello transferred both cases to trial Justice Baba-Yusuf sequel to application the former NSA filed through his lead counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN.
Dasuki who is also facing another 19-count charge of alleged diversion of N32bn, was brought to court from detention cell of the Department of State Service, DSS, to enter his plea, yesterday.
It will be recalled that the ex-NSA was on December 29, 2015, re-arrested by DSS operatives immediately he was released from Kuje Prison upon perfecting all his bail conditions.
The ECOWAS court had in a judgment on October 4, 2016, ordered the Federal Government to immediately him from detention, an order FG had yet to comply with.
Meantime, Justice Baba-Yusuf has fixed February 24 to commence hearing on the two pending charges Dasuki and the other defendants.