Produce Dasuki in court Feb 16, judge orders FG

Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday,
ordered the Federal Government to produce
the erstwhile National Security Adviser, NSA,
Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), before him on February 16.
Justice Adeniyi made the order after he was
notified that the ex-NSA, whose trial was
originally scheduled to commence yesterday,
was not brought to court by the prosecution.
Dasuki is facing a five-count criminal charge
before the court.
The charge pending against him before the
court borders on money laundering and his
alleged illegal possession of firearms.
Specifically, government alleged that Dasuki
was on July 17, 2015, at his house situated at
13, John Khadiya Street, Asokoro, Abuja,
found to be in possession of various range of
firearms without requisite license, an offence
punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the
Firearms Act Cap F28 LFN, 2004.
He was further accused of retaining $40,000,
N5 million and another $20,000 in the same
house and same date, contrary to Section 15
(2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act,
2011.
Besides, government alleged that the
embattled former NSA had on July 16, 2015,
at his residence at Sultan Abubakar Road and
Sabon Birni Road, Sokoto State, retained
another $150,000 and N37.6 million being
part of proceedings of unlawful act, contrary
to Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering
Act, 2011.
The former NSA had since pleaded not guilty
to the charges against him, even as the court
fixed yesterday to begin full-blown hearing on
the matter.
He’s missing—COUNSEL
When the matter was called-up for trial,
Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. J. B. Daudu (SAN), told
the court that his client was, about six weeks
ago, abducted by security agents to an
unknown destination.
Daudu alleged that his client had since then
been kept incommunicado, adding that effort
by his family members and lawyers to have
access to him were scuttled by the Federal
Government.
More so, Daudu, who stressed that his client
was duly admitted to bail by three different
courts where he was arraigned, wondered why
the government was bent on retaining him in
custody without preferring any charge against
him.
Consequently, he prayed Justice Adeniyi to
compel the Federal Government and its agents
to respect all the subsisting court orders that
sanctioned the release of his client on bail
pending hearing and determination of all the
charges against him.
Meantime, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Dikpo
Okpeseyi (SAN), yesterday, failed to give any
reason why the former NSA was not brought
to court.
Rather, he applied and withdrew an earlier
application government filed, wherein it asked
Justice Adeniyi to revoke the bail he granted
to Dasuki on November 3, 2015.
Dissatisfied that the absence of Dasuki in
court yesterday was not anchored on any
cogent reason, Justice Adeniyi ordered the he
must be produced before any further step
could be taken on the matter.
The judge maintained that it is mandatory for
a defendant in a criminal matter to be
physically present in court at every stage of
the prosecution.
He said that only the court has the power to
excuse an accused person from being
physically present in the course of a trial.

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