Abuja – Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court on Tuesday fixed April 29 for trial to begin for former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Amb. Bashir Yuguda in the alleged misappropriation of N19. 4 billion arms funds.
Charged along with Yuguda and Dasukigate are a former Governor of Sokoto a State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and his company Dalhatu Investment Limited.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) charged them with 25 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public fund to the tune N19. 4 billion.
The judge adjourned the matter after listening to submissions of all the counsel in the matter on the absence of Dasuki who is the second defendant.
Based on consensus, Justice Baba-Yusuf adjourned the case until April 29 and ordered that hearing notice be served on Dasuki.
Earlier, EFCC Counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that though the case was scheduled for commencement of trial, the prosecution was constrained to proceed even though its witness was in court.
Atolagbe said that the prosecution informed the Department of State Services (DSS), whose custody Dasuki is of the adjourned date of today for trial.
“My Lord, we made all our efforts to ensure the defendant was brought to court. The DSS informed us that the defendant said his case was not coming up today and as such would not come to court.
“Further efforts by the prosecution to obtain hearing notice to be served on Dasuki proved futile as court officials insisted that since the judge did not order the notice be served they could not issued such.
“In view of the development therefore, we pray for an adjournment, pleading that the court should order hearing notice be served on the second defendant” he said.
Counsel for Yuguda, Mr Olajide Ayodele SAN and for Sagir and Dalhatu Investment, Mr P A Abah, did not object to the request for adjournment.
Counsel for Bafarawa, Mr Lateef Fagbemi SAN, said that the case would be four years since it was instituted by the end of the week.
Fagbemi argued that the prosecution has no excuse for Dasuki’s absence in court, saying that the former NSA was in the prosecution’s custody.
Fagbemi said that if DSS was not cooperating with the prosecution, the counsel should drop the case.
He, however, did not object to adjournment.
Counsel for Dasuki, Mr Adeola Adedipe, stated that there was an understanding between the second defendant’s legal team, headed by Chief Joseph Daodu SAN and the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs for a two month adjournment.
According to him, the two-month adjournment was based on the fact that Daodu was recuperating and it would take him two months to do so.
Responding to this, Atolagbe stated that he was unaware of any understanding between Dasuki’s legal team and Jacobs, adding that there was no need for the two-month adjournment.
He noted that Ahmed Raji SAN has been handling the case for Dasuki in the absence of Daodu and is doing well. (NAN )