Trials of Dasuki, NIMASA’s ex-chief stalled

 Sambo Dasuki

Sambo Dasuki

• Courts to resume cases in May

The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court could not hold yesterday as he maintained that he had not been able to brief his legal team because of his continued detention since last year.

Besides, the trial of former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi and others could not continue yesterday at the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere following the failure to produce a fiat by the prosecutor who came to represent the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Through his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), Dasuki submitted before Justice Peter Affem that since December last year he had been unable to access his lawyer for his defence in the criminal charges of alleged corruption and money laundering filed against him by the government.

Raji has, however, filed a motion on notice before the court asking for an order to direct the Federal Government or any of its agents acting on its behalf to provide Dasuki adequate time to prepare his defence in the 19 count-charges filed against him on which he had been admitted on bail.

Dasuki, in the motion dated April 19, 2016 prayed the court to compel the government to give access to any counsel of his choice during weekdays between Mondays and Fridays at Mr. J. B. Daudu’s chamber in Abuja pending the hearing and determination of the motion and notice filed at the court of appeal to stay proceedings at the FCT High Court.

The former NSA also prayed the court to order the government to provide adequate facilities for him in order to enable him to study the charges and evidence attached to them against him.

The fresh motion was predicted on five grounds which include that he (Dasuki) stands for trial on 19 count-charges over which he had been admitted to bail and that under Section 36 (b) of the 1999 constitution he reserves the right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence.

He also told the court that he needed at least 20 interactive sessions with his lawyers on record or any counsel of his choice in the preparation of his defence for trial.

In a 13-point affidavit supporting the motion sworn to by one Ahmed Usman, Dasuki averred that when he was admitted to bail on December 21, 2015 he subsequently met all bail conditions that were released but was immediately rearrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) without a court order.

EFCC Counsel, Mr. Olaoluwa Atelagbe, at the commencement of the hearing yesterday told Justice Affem that he had been served with a copy of Dasuki’s motion praying for access to his lawyers. He, however, requested an adjournment to enable him to react to the motion.

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