A former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, has asked an FCT High Court in Maitama to adjourn sine die (indefinitely) a case bordering on misappropriation of public funds.
Dasuki, through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), filed this application on January 8 and it was brought to the attention of the court on Wednesday.
In an affidavit supporting the motion, it was stated among others that Dasuki has since been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), despite several orders of court admitting him to bail.
“The application ought to be granted, in order to preserve the integrity of the Bench and to avoid a constitutional breakdown. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application,” the motion stated.
Dasuki was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa and Bafarawa’s son, Sagir on a 25-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N4.6billion.
While Dasuki was absent when the case was called for continuation of trial on Wednesday, other defendants, Yuguda and the Bafarawas were present in court.
Prosecution counsel, Leke Atolagbe told the court that while the prosecution’s witnesses were available, he got the information that Dasuki insisted that he would not come to court.
“Certainly, trial cannot go on today. However, I will humbly refer the court to Section 352(4) of ACJA which permits your lordship to go into trial in absentia in the case of a defendant that refuse to come to court without any reasonable excuse, but that will be after 2 adjournments according to the provision of that section.
“Also, I am not unmindful of a motion served on me this morning (Wednesday) by the second defendant (Dasuki’s) counsel, but we will need some time to respond to the motion. In any case, we don’t think the motion can stop the trial from going on. The motion is asking for an adjournment sine die,” he said.
The trial judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf however said no matter how irrelevant or stupid a motion looks, it has to be decided before the case can go on.
Subsequently, upon agreement of all parties, the case was adjourned to February 19 for hearing of the motion.