EFCC files application to separate Dasuki from co-accused

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday filed a motion at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Maitama, seeking a separate trial for a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

The EFCC had in 2015, filed two separate charges against Mr Dasuki and other defendants before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf.

The anti-graft agency in the first suit marked FCT/HC/CR/42/2015, charged the former NSA alongside a former minister of state for finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir and his company, Dalhatu Investment Limited.

They were charged on a 25-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune N19.4 billion.

In the other suit, Mr Dasuki was tried alongside a former general manager in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba- Kusa, and two firms: Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.

They were re-arraigned on an amended 32-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, ‘dishonest release’ and illegally receiving various sums of money to the tune of N33.2 billion.

The former NSA has been in the detention of the State Security Service (SSS) since December 2015, despite about six court orders granting him bail.

Mr Dasuki, in an open letter in 2018, said he would not appear in court for his trial until the SSS complies with the orders of different courts demanding his release.
Complaints

During the court session on November 14, the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, expressed dissatisfaction over the continuous absence of Mr Dasuki in the court for his trials.

“We can’t be in the same place for four years without moving,” he said.

Mr Jacobs informed the court that the prosecution had filed a motion dated November 4, seeking the continuation of trial in Mr Dasuki’s absence.

The counsel also said that the charges against the other defendants in the two suits might be amended to remove Mr Dasuki’s name to enable other defendants face their trial without further delay.

Responding, Solomon Umoh, Mr Baba-Kusa’s counsel, objected to the submissions of the EFCC lawyer.

Mr Baba-Kusa said the former NSA “is central to the charge against other defendants and that if he is separated, others will not get a fair trial.”

Meanwhile, the court session for Wednesday did not hold as scheduled.

The court adjourned to February 13, 2020, to hear the application for a ‘separation’ filed by the EFCC.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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