The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and four others in the alleged money laundering and breach of trust charges has been adjourned to March 16 and 17, 2017.
It was adjourned by Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court for continuation of trial in the alleged N2bn public fund diversion scandal involving Acacia Holding and Reliance Rferal Hospital Limited.
The trial was opened with the lead prosecution counsel Mr Rotimi Jacob (SAN), calling his first witness Mr. Adariko Michael. The witness, who is an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a testimony, informed the court that the anti-graft agency investigated the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in September 2015 based on a petition received by on a complain alleging abuse of office and money-laundering.
Michael said that the Commission went into action the same day by writing letters to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), requesting information on the movement of funds from the ONSA Account to various companies. He further informed the court that the response from the CBN indicated that funds were moved from the ONSA’s bank account domiciled at CBN to two companies, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Reference Hospital Limited.
The witness further testified that the funds were transferred in three tranches of N600mn, N650mn and N750mn into the account of the companies with UBA, Ecobank and First Bank Plc.
The EFCC operative further told Justice Baba Yusuf that letters were written to the three banks and the responses confirming transfer of the funds were also received.
He also informed the court that a letter written to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) confirmed one Aminu Baba Kusa as the owner and the sponsor of Acacia holding Limited and that the said company owner was invited and made a voluntary useful statement to the EFCC.
All the documents relating to the transactions that led to the trial were tendered by the prosecution and admitted as exhibits by Justice Baba Yusuf.
Meanwhile, counsel to Colonel Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, has informed Justice Baba Yusuf of his intention to file a motion for consolidation of the two charges brought against his client by the Federal Government in the same court. Raji informed Justice Baba Yusuf that it is in the interest of justice and effective case management that the charges must be merged since they emanated from the same office of the national security adviser under the headship of his client.
Although the prosecution counsel objected to the indication of the merger, the Judge said that the two parties should allow the motion to be filed properly before argument can be canvassed on the merit or otherwise of the consolidation request. Meanwhile, further trial has been adjourned to March 16 and 17, 2017.