Again, FG fails to produce Dasuki in court

Again, FG fails to produce Dasuki in court
May 03 20:57 2016

The Federal Government again 
failed on Tuesday to produce
the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col
Sambo Dasuki (rtd) before a Federal
 Capital Territory High Court in
Abuja for trial on corruption
charges brought against him by
the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC).

Although witnesses in the case
were assembled by the  in court, the trial was
scuttled by the failure of the
Department of State Services (SSS) to release
Dasuki to EFCC for the trial.
During Tuesday’s sitting,
counsel to the EFCC, Oluwaleke
Atolagbe, informed Justice Baba
Yusuf that he had made repeated
efforts  to
make the DSS
produce the
first defendant in court and
regretted that as at the time the
court was sitting, Dasuki had not been released.

He informed the court
that there was no indication that
the former NSA would be brought
to court for the trial even though
the witnesses were in court.
Atolagbe appealed that the
matter be stood down pending the
arrival of the prosecution counsel,
Rotimi Jacob, who was attending a
different case at the Court of
Appeal.
Jacob was needed to give
details about Dasuki’s
absence from court.

However, counsel to Salisu
Shuaib, a former Director of
Finance ONSA, Akin Olujimi, said
that the coming into court of
Jacob would be inconsequential in
the absence of
Dasuki
Olujimi, a former Attorney
General of the Federation and
Justice Minister, told the court
that the prosecution had failed to
produce the defendant in court
and ought to admit that and ask
for adjournment.
According to him, it is
settled in law that trial cannot go ahead in the
absence of the defendant and prayed the
judge to grant adjournment to the prosecution
to enable them take steps to produce
Dasuki in court on the adjourned date. Olujimi also asked the court to issue a
warning to the prosecution to be serious with
the trial and to ensure that Mr. Dasuki was
produced in court at all stages of the trial as
demanded by law.

In his own contribution, counsel to Aminu
Baba-Kusa, a former executive at NNPC,
Solomon Umor, informed Justice Baba Yusuf
that “ordinarily the prosecution ought to
apply for a bench warrant against Dasuki for
a failure to appear in court for trial but noted
that in the instance case, the prosecution
would not do so because they were the one
responsible for the absence of Dasuki because
of his unwarranted detention.

“Let the truth be told here that it is the
Federal Government that is frustrating this
trial because it wants to eat its cake and have
it at the same time. By this I mean the
government wanted the first defendant tried
for criminal matter and yet it was not ready to
allow the defendant have access to his lawyers
or even to court to face that trial.
“I would have asked that the defendants in
this case be discharged and allow to go home
pending the time the prosecution would get
serious for their trial. But I will reluctantly
concede to one more adjournment be granted
to the prosecution.
“Let me say that this adjournment should go
with stern warning to the prosecution (which)
should not come before this court with
another story because the defendants must not
be held to ransom by the unwilling
prosecution.

”
Justice Baba Yusuf ruled  that
it was the responsibility of the prosecution to
produce the defendant in court as required by
law but regretted that the prosecution had
unfortunately abdicated this responsibility.
The Judge said because the conduct of the
prosecution had been good in the past, he
granted an adjournment of the trial till May
23, 2016.