$2.1bn Arm Deal: Dasuki Asks Abuja Courts to Consolidate Charges
… Says He is Not Scared of Trial
The former National Security Adviser, Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki has asked an Abuja High Court to consolidate the two criminal charges bordering on alleged corruption and breach of trust brought against him by the Federal Government in the course of his official duties.
Dasuki who had been granted bails in three different high courts were criminal charges were slammed on him, had been rearrested and kept in custody since 2015.
He told the court that he was not scared of trial on the alleged fund misappropriation but insisted that the right thing in law must be done.
The Ex-NSA in a fresh motion on notice filed by his counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) claimed that the trial in two different courts on the same issues and facts is unconstitutional and prejudicial to his right to fair trial by the court.
Dasuki who is standing trial on allegation of alleged misappropriation of $2.1bn along with four others before Justice Baba Yusuf insisted that the charges against him by the complainant on the same issue constituted a gross abuse of court process.
In the motion brought pursuant to Section 6 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 1, 208, 396, 491 and 492 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Dasuki claimed that the two charges revolved around the same set of transaction and facts on the alleged funds misappropriation and the breach of trust.
He claimed that the two charges with NO FCT/HC/CR/43/2015 and another one with FCT/HC/CR/42/2015 pending before Justice Baba Yusuf of the High Court No 4 and Justice Peter Affen of High Court No 24 are identical charges emanating from the Office of the National Security Adviser and as such must be consolidated in the interest of justice and fair trial to avoid double jeopardy.
The applicant further claimed that to stand trial before two different courts and two different judges on the same set of facts and purported transaction of the office of the NSA will be prejudicial and great hardship against him as he stands the risk of double jeorpady having being charged in two different courts on the issue.
In the alternative, Dasuki prayed that is name be struck out from one of the two charges in the interest of justice.
In 30 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Dolapo Kehinde, the Ex-NSA was said to be standing trial before Justice Baba Yusuf on a 19 count charge for criminal breach of trust pursuant to Section 97, 309, 315 and 317 of the Penal Code and for also dishonestly misappropriated of certain properties in breach of Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2014.
The deponent, also averred that Dasuki and four others were also standing trial before Justice Peter Affen for similar offences on 22 Count Charge of criminal breach of trust contrary to Section 97, 309, 315 and 317 of Penal Code and dishonest misappropriation of certain properties contrary to Section 17 of EFCC Act 2014.
He further averred that the pivotal issue whereupon the two charges revolve is the purported $2.1bn alleged to have been misappropriated by the Ex-NSA.
The affidavit indicated that there was no distinction between the alleged transactions which led the filing of the two charges and therefore it is an abuse of the court for the two charges to have been filed separately.
However, counsel to Federal Government, Mr. Rotimi Jacob (SAN) objected to the motion on the ground that it was a ploy to frustrate and delay trial and urged Justice Baba Yusuf to proceed with the trial.
But counsel to Dasuki Mr JB Daudu urged the court to decide the motion one way or the other before the trial can commence because fundamental constitutional issues have been raised in the motion that required the termination first before anything could be done.
Other defendants in the charge did not object to hearing the motion prompting Justice Baba Yusuf to adjourn till June 15, 2016 for hearing.