Defence stalls Dasuki’s trial with fresh motion
By Paul Obi in Abuja
Justice S.M Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has given an interim order for the forfeiture of 17 vehicles found in the warehouse of former Comp- troller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde to the federal government.
The order was sequel to an exparte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking, among others, the forfeiture of the vehicles to the Nigerian Government, pending the conclusion of investigation and determina- tion of the case.
In his ruling yesterday, Justice Shuaibu held that “the seventeen (17) vehicles, which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC) and as properly described and listed in the schedule marked exhibit EFCC 2 attached to the affidavit in support of the application, are hereby forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria in the interim pending conclusion of the investigation.”
Operatives of the EFCC had on February 20 stormed the warehouse of the former Customs boss on Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Kaduna and discovered 17 exotic vehicles worth hundreds of millions of Naira, suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Meanwhile, the trial of a former National Security Adviser, NSA, to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, scheduled to com- mence yesterday, February 24, 2017 could not go on due to a fresh application by Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN.
Raji told the court that he was not ready for the com- mencement of trial because he had an application for consolidation, pending before the court.
“It will amount to a waste of time if the issue of the application is not resolved because it has a connection with the sister case,” he said.
Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, decried delay in commencing the trial, adding that after arraignment in 2015, the trial was yet to commence.
“Your lordship gave a sufficient time since the last sitting on January 24, 2017 in which the 2nd defendant (Dasuki) could have filed any motion, but he filed it only yesterday, and the sister case has commenced already.
“He just wanted to try his luck, this should not be a legal gambling,” Jacobs lamented. In the sister case, Dasuki was arraigned on a 19-count charge, bordering on diversion of funds.
All the cases are now pend- ing before Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf.
After listening to the submissions from parties, Justice Baba-Yusuf adjourned to March 2, 2017 for hearing on the motion.
EFCC Head of Media and information, Wilson Uwujaren said: “Dasuki is facing a 22-count charge of illegal diversion of N19.4billion from the Office of National Security Adviser, ONSA account. He was docked alongside former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and his son, Sagir.
“Others arraigned with them are a former Director of Finance and Administration, ONSA, Shuaibu Salisu and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
“They are alleged to have conspired to steal the funds which was part of the $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms to combat terrorism in the North-east using a company, Dahaltu Investment Limited, listed as the 4th defendant in the charge as conduit pipe for the alleged diversion.”