Judge’s absence stalls Dasuki’s application against trial

Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. PHOTO: Lucy Ladidi Elukpo

Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. PHOTO: Lucy Ladidi Elukpo

The former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki’s hope to escape trial was yesterday put on hold as the court adjourned the case to a future date.

Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had fixed ruling on Dasuki’s application, asking the court to quash his trial, for Yesterday. Unfortunately, the absence of the judge at the resumed hearing led to an adjournment of the case to a date yet to be determined by parties involved in the case.

Dasuki, who is standing trial for illegal possession of firearms as well as financial crimes had in the application filed early March, prayed the court to strike out the case on the ground that the Federal Government no longer has the moral and legal rights to continue his trial, having disobeyed the order of bail granted him since November 3 last year.

Arguing through his Counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), Dasuki maintained that the Federal Government was in contempt of the court and he consequently asked Justice Ademola not to indulge the Government any longer on the charges against him until it has purged itself of contempt.

The counsel had also insisted at that previous sitting that the bail order that admitted Dasuki to bail remained valid since it was neither reviewed nor set aside by the court and as such, must be obeyed in the interest of justice.

According to Daudu, Dasuki cannot be lawfully prosecuted because his right to prepare adequately for his defense as enshrined in the bail has been violated, having been kept away from his lawyers.

Responding, counsel to the Federal Government, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), had urged the court not to grant the application because its purpose was to frustrate trial and restrain the power to prosecute a criminal charge.

He stated that it would be an anomaly for a court to discharge an accused without trial.

Okpeseyi claimed that the bail granted the defendant did not prohibit his re-arrest in connection with any other matter.

The counsel also denied the allegation that the Federal Government stopped Dasuki at the airport from going abroad for medical check-up as ordered by court, adding that the defendant’s international passport was not even in the custody of the Federal Government.

After listening to the argument of both parties, Justice Ademola had fixed ruling on the application for yesterday.
At the resumed hearing however, few lawyers were already seated in anticipation before the court clerk informed them that the case has been adjourned as the trial Judge was not in court.

Although the case was rightly listed in the case register for the day, the clerk said the court was yet to fix a new date for the ruling on the application.

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