Former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) yesterday warned that his trial by the federal government on allegations of unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering will make mockery of the judiciary if allowed to hold by the Federal High Court.
Dasuki insisted that the federal government no longer has moral right to put him on trial, having been in contempt of the judiciary in three separate courts that admitted him to bail but flouted by government.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the ex-NSA objected to the government bid to commence the trial, insisting that government must first purge itself before it should be granted indulgence by Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
Shortly after Mr. Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN announced his appearance as lawyer to the federal government and that he had brought witnesses that will testify against Dasuki, Mr. Joseph Daudu, standing for Dasuki, jumped up and demanded that Justice Adeniyi Ademola should not listen to the government for now.
Daudu, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, informed Justice Ademola that three different courts have admitted Dasuki on bail but that the federal government failed to allow him go on bail even when it is his fundamental right.
The counsel said that the purpose of bail was to allow an accused adequate time and facility to prepare for his defence in a criminal matter, adding that the same cannot be said to be the case here because the accused (Dasuki) is still being held in custody despite the three court orders.
“The conduct of the federal government in this matter has made Dasuki not to enjoy his constitutional rights and this must be resisted by the judiciary in the interest of justice and the rule of law.
“The worse is that for about seven weeks now; specifically since December 29 last year when Dasuki perfected his bail condition but was rearrested, neither his lawyers nor his family know exactly where he is being detained but only aware that he is in the custody.
“This would tantamount to a mockery of judicial process if the accused person is not allowed to adequately prepare for his trial.”
Daudu stated that his application requesting the court to discharge Dasuki from the criminal charges brought against him by the federal government should be granted since government is still in contempt of the court order.
In the alternative, the Counsel asked the court to strike out the charge and decline to indulge the federal government in the trial until the government has purged itself of the contempt.
However, opposing Dasuki, the government lawyer claimed that criminal trial was not indulgence or a privilege but a constitutional matter.
He said Dasuki was not being held wrongfully or illegally and that his lawyers are in position to see him because government has never obstructed them from doing so.
Okpeseyi said that it is not a must that a counsel prepares his clients defence in a five star hotel or in the comfort of his room, adding that Dasuki still in detention, his defence can be prepared by his lawyers.
Okpeseyi, SAN, claimed that he had filed a counter affidavit to oppose the request of Dasuki for a discharge of him from trial and that same has been served on Dasuki’s lawyer.
In the counter affidavit, Okpeseyi claimed that Dasuki was being detained because his surety has not perfected the conditions attached to the bail as ordered by the court.
He further said that the DSS in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities rearrested Dasuki for interrogations in respect of other offenses.
But Dasuki’s lawyer claimed that the government affidavit has just been served on him and that he needed time to respond to some sensitive issues raised in the affidavit.
Daudu then applied to the court to grant him a short adjournment to enable reply in writing to the government claims.
In his ruling, Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted adjournment to Dasuki till March 3 in the interest of justice and fair hearing as enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The Judge ordered Dasuki’s lawyers to file their response and serve same on government lawyer within seven days.

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