Efforts of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) to stop his trial over $2.1 billion fraudulent arms deal using as pretext, Nigerian government’s contraventions of court orders for his release failed at the Supreme Court on Friday.
The apex court ruled that the detention of former National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki was not at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that is currently prosecuting him over fraudulent deals.
FCT High Court had on February 15 adjourned hearing in the trial of the former NSA to await the Supreme Court ruling on a suit he filed to stop his trial by the EFCC over failure of the Federal Government ordering his release from detention.
Dasuki, is standing along former minister Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu, a former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and their family company Dalhatu Investment Limited.
They are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , on a 22-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and fraudulent diversion of public fund to the tune of N19.4billion.
Dasuki had in his application asked the Supreme court to suspend his trial in the alleged money-laundering charges brought against him by the Federal Government pending the time the government obeyed the bail orders granted in his favor by the court.
Justice Hussein Baba -Yusuf, adjourned the trial, after Dasuki’s counsel, Mr Adeola Adedipe drew the court’s attention to an application dated Nov. 3, 2017 for an adjournment, pending the outcome of a Supreme Court judgment slated for today, March 2.
Other defense counsels in the matter also aligned with their submissions.
But while ruling of Dasuki’s application, the apex Court held that the bails granted Dasuki in respect of criminal charges brought against him by EFCC have been obeyed having being implemented by the Controller of Prison Kuje on December 29, 2015.
Justice Ajembi Eko said that the EFCC cannot be held responsible for the continued detention of the Ex-NSA since the detention was carried out by the Department State Service (DSS) in the unanimous judgement.
The Judge noted that since the bail order was implemented by the Prison Controller it has been obeyed as far as the charges against him at the FCT High Court was concerned.
The Apex Court said that from the claims and counter-claims of Dasuki and EFCC, it was clear that he Dasuki was rearrested at the premises of the Kuje Prison on December 29, 2015 by DSS.
The Supreme Court therefore affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal and the FCT High Court which had in their separate decisions held that EFCC cannot be held responsible for the detention of Dasuki by DSS.
Justice Eko said the appeal brought by Dasuki lacked merit and constituted abuse of court process and therefore dismissed it.
The Court therefore ordered Dasuki and EFCC to go back to the FCT High Court to continue with the trial in the charges brought against him by the anti-graft agency.
It will be recalled that a Federal High Court under Justice Adeniyi Ademola, FCT High Court under Justice Peter Affem and another FCT High Court under Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf had at different times granted bails to Dasuki following his arrest by the Buhari administration.
But Dasuki was re-arrested after his release from Kuje Prison on December 29, 2015 by operatives of DSS and has been held in detention since then.