The trial of former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, could not proceed as planned on Thursday, due the absence of his lawyers, leading Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja to adjourn the trial to 11am on Friday.
Dasuki is being arraigned over an alleged diversion of about N32bn, which was part of funds meant for the procurement of arms. Despite having been granted bail three times in the past and fulfilling the conditions attached to it, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have simply rearrested him.
The adjournment on Thursday was at the instance of the defence lawyers, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) and Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who had written to the court that they would be in Kogi State for an election petition case. Their request was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), or the other defence counsels in the case.
Earlier, the judge had to stand down the matter for about one hour, to await the arrival of the Dasuki, who was being conveyed to the court by operatives of the Department of State Service. Due to his absence when the case was first called, Justice Yusuf subsequently stood down the case till 11am.
But his other co-accused, a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa, were present. Baba-Kusa’s two companies, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited, are also part of the accused.
Justice Baba Yusuf had on December 18 granted bail to Dasuki and the rest of his co-accused bail in the sum of N250m with one surety in relation to 19 counts of misappropriation of about N32bn meant for purchase of arms,
On December 21, Justice Peter Affen granted bail to Dasuki and his co-defendants with respect to another sent 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13bn, which was part of the arms fund, in the sum of N250m with two sureties in like sum.
But upon being released from prison after meeting the bail conditions, he was reportedly re-arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services. These were different from the earlier order by a court for Dasuki to be allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment.