ABUJA — The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), on alleged corruption charges was aborted by the refusal of the Federal Government to produce him in court for trial.
The trial slated before an Abuja High Court, yesterday, could not go on after the judge and senior lawyers had waited for over three hours without Dasuki being brought to court as agreed at the last adjourned date.
Dasuki, who had been granted bails by four different judges in the last two years, has remained in the custody of Department of State Services, DSS, without detention warrant and in disobedience to the court orders on bail.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Baba Yusuf, however, gave the Federal Government till today to produce Dasuki in court for the continuation of the trial, adding that the prosecution should do the needful to assist the court with the presence of the defendants in court.
Earlier, prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told Justice Baba Yusuf that he was surprised that the former NSA was not within the court premises for the continuation of his trial but, declined to give reasons why the defendant was not produced.
He applied that the case be stood down for another one hour to enable him make contact with the agency responsible for Dasuki’s detention.
However, counsel to Dasuki, Mr Joseph Daudu, SAN, informed the court that the statement of Jacob was not helpful to the court and demanded the whereabouts of his client.
Reacting, Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN, informed the court that there was no need for Dasuki trial to be stood down for another hour since the prosecution could not state categorically whether the defendant would be brought to court or not.
Justice Yusuf in his brief comment said Jacob, as the leader of the prosecuting team, ought to have known ahead on whether the defendant would be produced in court or not by the DSS.
The judge said that it would be decent when categorical information is obtained on whether the defendant would be available for trial or not so that the precious time of the court would not be wasted in waiting endlessly.
It will be recalled that this is fourth time the inability of the federal government to produce Dasuki in court would force his trial to be adjourned.
Since 2015, when he was arraigned before different high courts, Dasuki has been granted bail by Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Justice Ahmed Rahmat Mohhamed of the Federal High Court in the charges of unlawful possession of firearms brought against him but the bails were not obeyed by the government.
At the two Abuja High Courts where ex-NSA was arraigned for money laundering, he was granted bail by Justice Peter Affen and Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, the bail orders were not also obeyed by government when Dasuki perfected the conditions.
The ECOWAS Court had also in a judgement ordered the Federal Government last year to immediately release Dasuki from the unlawful custody and imposed a fine of N15 million on the government but up to now the judgement had not being obeyed.
Apart from Dasuki, Salisu Shuaib, Aminu Baba-Kusa and two others who were enjoying their own bails were in court but left when the information came that the first defendant would not be brought before the court.