FG, EFCC didn’t disobey court order, judge tells Dasuki

Another judge of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, Justice Peter Affen, on Friday ruled that the continued detention of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), did not violate his order granting the ex-NSA bail on December 21, 2015.

The judge dismissed the application by Dasuki seeking to stop his trial for alleged diversion of N19bn arms funds on the grounds that his re-arrest on December 29, 2015 violated the order of the court granting him bail.

Justice Affen ruled that the application lacked merit and ordered that the trial of the ex-NSA, who was charged along with others, must continue.

The judge fixed April 20 and 22, April for trial.

Earlier, Justice Baba Yusuf of the same court had also on February 8 made similar declaration that the detention of the former NSA was in not in breach of his order granting bail to him on December 18, 2015.

The judge had fixed March 23 for commencement of trial.

Dasuki had also filed separate applications before the two judges asking for orders prohibiting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from further prosecuting him on the two separate sets of charges pending before the judges.

Among his other prayers anchored on alleged violation of the orders of the court by the EFCC, Dasuki prayed the court for an order discharging him of the alleged crime or alternatively staying proceedings.

Meanwhile Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on Thursday fixed April 4 for ruling on similar application filed by Dasuki to stop his trial on four counts of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.

Dasuki was re-arrested by operatives of the Department of State Service on December 29, 2015 shortly after he was released from Kuje prison upon fulfilling the bail conditions imposed on him by the two judges of the FCT High Court in Maitama.

Justice Affen ruled on Friday, that since it was clear that the ex-NSA was not re-arrested by the EFCC but by the Department of State Service, the EFCC could not be said to have violated the said order granting him bail.

The judge ruled that though the EFCC and the DSS were both federal agencies, the wrongdoing of one could not be blamed on th order.

He also ruled that the order granting bail to the defendant did not preclude him from being re-arrested by other agencies of the Federal Government in respect of other alleged crime.

In his ruling delivered on December 21, 2015, Justice Affen had directed that if Dasuki or any his co-accused was needed by the prosecution for further investigation, they could only be held between 9am and 6pm and be allowed to return home on each day.

The judge ruled that if the prosecution needed the accused beyond the stipulated period, it must first obtain the leave of court.

“The order of court made on December 21, 2015 did not in any way contemplated any government agencies other than the EFCC to whom the order was directed,” Justice Affen ruled.

While ruling that the EFCC had not violated its order, the judge added even if it did, Dasuki’s lawyer did not show how that could constituted grounds for discharging him or stay the criminal proceedings.

He also ruled that the ex-NSA should have pursued the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty in an independent civil suit.

Dasuki and others are being prosecuted on 22 counts of diversion of N19bn arms fund.

His co-accuse include a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.

Others charged along with them, are a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.

The EFCC is also prosecuting the ex-NSA and others on separate set of 19 counts of alleged diversion of N32bn arms fund before Justice Baba Yusuf.

His co-accused in the case are Salisu, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Babakusa and two companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: