Court Affirms Dasuki’s Bail in Arm Deal Trial

… Adjourns Trial to February 24, 2016
 
An
Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National
Security Adviseer, Colonel Sambi Dasuki and five others in the arm deal
trial involving $2.1bn.
Justice
Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Dasuki on the ground that he was
entitled to it and having being admitted to same since 2015 when the
federal government brought criminal charges against him.
Dasuki
and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf on the
criminal charges that was transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the
FCT High Court to the new court. However after the 22 count charges were
read to the six defendants and all pleaded not guilty, counsel to
Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted
to the ex-NSA even though he has not been allowed to enjoy same since
December 2015.
The
counsel submitted that it was on record that the FCT High Court 24
admitted Colonel Dasuki retired on bail before he was illegally arrested
and detained by the Department of the State Security Services (DSS).
Raji
argued that with the transfer of the case from Justice Affen to Justice
Baba Yusuf, the DSS has been separated from the matter, adding that the
court record indicated that the Ex-NSA is being prosecuted by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not DSS that had
been acting as interloper.
The counsel further
said that the illegal act of interloper should not be used to divest the
court of its power to reaffirm the bail granted  Dasuki earlier because
he is entitled to it.
The SAN then urged
Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Dasuki
before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.
The
counsel argued that it is wrong of the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi
Jacobs (SAN) to have objected to the reaffirmation of the bail condition
on Dasuki, adding that he (Dasuki) has in his possession a judgment of
the ECOWAS Court which last year set aside the unlawful detention of the
Ex-NSA and also imposed a fine of N15,000,000 on the Federal Government
as compensation to his client.
Another
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, who spoke as a
friend of the court argued that there was no dispute that Dasuki was
granted bail but has not been released by the DSS to enjoy the bail.
The
Senior counsel described the action of DSS as most unfortunate and
urged Justice Baba Yusuf to resist the temptation of being drawn into
the illegality of actions of the DSS on Colonel Dasuki.
The
Federal Government Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacob had informed the court that
he has no objection to the affirmation of the bail earlier granted to
five other defendants in the trial. But however urged the judge not to
make any pronouncement or order in respect of the bail for Dasuki since
he has not being allowed to enjoy any bail.
Rotimi
Jacobs said: “Court must not act in vain, there is no point making an
order in vain. Dasuki has been in the custody of the DSS since 2015 and
is still there till today.”
However in his
brief ruling, Justice Baba Yusuf said that it is undisputable fact that
Ex-NSA being the second defendant in the charge was admitted bail in
2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the
same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of the security
agencies.
The judge adjourned trial in the matter to February 24, 2016.
Others
charged along with Dasuki are former Finance Minister of State, Mallam
Bashir Yuguda; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the
Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu; Dalhatu
Investment; Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State governor,
Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa. They were charged with corruption and breach
of trust contrary to Section 215 of the Penal Code and Section 17B of
the EFCC Act 2004.
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