A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, on Tuesday filed a fresh application before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop the alleged $2.1 billion criminal proceedings against him.
Mr. Dasuki was arraigned by the federal government on a seven-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, possession of illegal firearms and money laundering, to which he pleaded not guilty.
At the resumed hearing, his counsel, Joseph Daudu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, informed the court that he had filed a fresh application to quash the charges.
But the counsel to federal government, Dipo Okpeseyi, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the court that the case had been slated for trial and the prosecution was ready.
Mr. Okpeseyi also drew the judge’s attention to the fact that Mr. Dasuki’s detention by the SSS had nothing to do with the current charges before the court.
He urged the court to continue with the trial in line with the provisions of the relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The prosecution argued that Mr. Dasuki’s trial attracted both national and international attention.
But Mr. Daudu opposed the application, arguing that his client was not ready for trial, following Mr. Dasuki’s prolonged detention by operatives of the SSS.
Mr. Daudu submitted that the defendant was empowered by law to be given adequate time and facility to prepare for his defence.
“The conduct of the prosecution in this matter has made us not to enjoy any of these constitutional rights.
“And the worst is that for about seven weeks now, we don’t have access to our client except when he is produced in court.
“This attitude constitutes serious attack on the rule of law,” he said.
Mr. Daudu urged the court to adjourn the suit to enable him reply to the counter-affidavit filed by prosecution.
In a short ruling, the judge ordered the defence to file their reply on the prosecution’s application for secret trial and the defence counter-affidavit within seven days.
Mr. Ademola also ordered that the defendant be brought to court at every stage of the proceedings.
He adjourned the case till March 3 for hearing.