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Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
Hussein Yusuf of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja on Monday ordered the Department of State Services to produce the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), on the court premises everyday to enable him to meet with his lawyers.
The court ordered that Dasuki, who is standing trial along with others on charges of alleged diversion of about N32bn meant for arms procurement, should be brought to the court premises from Monday to Friday.
Justice Yusuf gave the order on Monday following the complaint by Dasuki’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, that his client was not allowed access to his lawyers as earlier ordered by the court.
He noted that the court had on April 6, 2016 directed the prosecution to allow Dasuki access to his lawyers and provide sufficient materials to the legal team for the preparation for his defence.
Adedipe said that despite the court’s directive, the prosecution had refused to allow Dasuki to meet with his lawyers.
He urged the court to adjourn indefinitely pending when the prosecution would comply with the court’s order.
Other defence lawyers, comprising Akin Olujinmi (SAN), Solomon Umoh (SAN), and Abiodun Layonu (SAN), agreed with Adedipe’s request for an adjournment.
Layonu noted that there appeared to be a misunderstanding between the prosecution and Dasuki’s lawyers on the interpretation of the court’s order of April 6.
He urged the court to specify how the prosecution should be allowed to meet with his lawyer and the venue.
Although the prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), attempted to justify his client’s delay in complying with the court’ order, Justice Yusuf ordered the prosecution to allow Dasuki to see his lawyers within the court’s premises.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Dasuki and four others, before the court on 19 counts in which they were accused of diverting about N32bn meant for arms procurement.
Dasuki’s co-accused are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa.
Two of Baba-Kusa’s companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are also among the defendants.
Dasuki was re-arrested on December 29, 2015 by the operatives of the DSS shortly after he was released from Kuje Prison, Abuja, after meeting the bail conditions granted him by different judges with respect to his ongoing trials on three separate sets of charges.
His trial before Justice Yusuf and another judge of the FCT High Court, Peter Affen, had been stalled due to his continued detention.
Justice Yusuf had, on May 3, adjourned the case due to the failure of the DSS to produce Dasuki in court.
The judge had on May 3 fixed Monday for commencement of trial but the scheduled proceedings were also stalled due to alleged failure of the DSS to allow Dasuki access to his lawyer.
Justice Yusuf on Monday, again, adjourned till June 6 for commencement of trial.
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