The trial of Sambo Dasuki and others was adjourned till December 7 for further hearing following a concession agreed upon by all the counsel concerned.
The trial which came up at an FCT High Court, Maitama, before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf could not go on.
However, all counsel had a chambers meeting with the judge and agreed on the date.
All the defendants were in court except Mr. Dasuki.
Mr. Dasuki’s father, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.
The younger Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before Justice Baba-Yusuf by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 19-count charge bordering on diversion of about N13.6 billion.
He is being tried alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director.
Also being tried were two firms, Acacia Holding Ltd. and Reliance Referral Hospital Ltd.
In a second case, Bashir Yuguda is the first defendant while Mr. Dasuki is the second.
Others are Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Dalhatu Investment Ltd., Sagir Attahiru and Attahiru Bafaarawa, former governor of Sokoto State.
They were arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on conspiracy, bribery, and abuse of office and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N28.315 million.
At the last sitting, the trial was streamlined by the court following the movement of the two case files to one.
The two cases were pending before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, and Justice Peter Affen.
At the previous sitting, Joseph Daudu, counsel to Mr. Dasuki, had prayed the court to consolidate the two cases against his client.
Mr. Daudu sought for an order directing the prosecution to amend charge No. FCT/HC/CR/43/ 2015 pending before Mr. Baba-Yusuf, to include the counts in suit No. FCT/HC/CR/43/2015, before Mr. Affen.
He said that his prayer was pursuant to sections 6(6)(a), 35(5) and (9) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and sections 1(1); 208; 396(3); 401and 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, also said that the movement was to facilitate the quick trial of the case if the files could be in one court.
At the last sitting, the two cases were brought to Mr. Baba-Yusuf’s court.
Absence at burial
Speaking to reporters at the end of the court session, Ahmed Raji, another counsel to Mr. Dasuki, said the federal government’s claim that it offered the former NSA an opportunity to attend his father’s burial was improper.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the government’s offer and Mr. Dasuki’s refusal.
Mr. Raji said the purported offer was doubtful because none of his client’s lawyers was contacted on the issue.
“As his counsel, we are not aware of that offer. Our client has not told us anything of that nature. We would have expected that if such a gesture was going to be made to him we as his counsel should have been involved so that we can advise him properly. As I am speaking to you, I am hearing of this for the first time.”
Mr. Raji said there was no basis for the continued detention of Dasuki by government having been granted bail by three different high courts in Abuja in the charges against him as well as the order of the ECOWAS court for his unconditional release in the case for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom of liberty.
He said “Dasuki has been granted three bails and one outright judgement for his release by the ECOWAS court which is binding in honour of Nigeria.”