The immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), on Monday asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to merge the two separate charges of bordering on diversion of arms funds preferred against him and others.
The EFCC preferred against Dasuki and four others before the court presided over Jusitce Baba Yusuf, 19 counts in which they were accused of diverting about N32bn meant for arms procurement.
Dasuki’s co-accused are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the office of NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Aminu Baba-Kusa.
Two of Baba-Kusa’s companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are also part of the defendants.
Before another judge of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, the EFCC also preferred 22 counts of diversion of N13bn meant for arms procurement against Dasuki, Salisu, and others, including former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa.
Dasuki, through his lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN) informed Justice Yusuf on Monday application to consolidate the two sets of charges.
Daudu said his client’s trial in two different courts on the same issues and facts was unconstitutional and prejudicial to his right to fair trial by the court.
But Justice Yusuf frowned on Daudu after introducing motion, saying it was intended to further delay in the case.
Prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) also shared the judge’s feeling.
Daudu disagreed with the judge and the situation led to hot verbal exchange.
A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), who is also a defence counsel in the case urged the judge to grant adjournment “for us to sort out ourselves”.
Justice Baba Yusuf relunctantly adjourned the matter till June 15 for hearing of the motion.
In the motion, Dasuki asked the 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.
The ex NSA 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 the 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.
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 transactions and facts on the alleged funds misappropriation and the breach of trust.
He claimed that the two charges – 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 respectively are identical charges emanating from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
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.