Dasuki’s absence stalls trial

THE trial was on Wednesday stalled in the unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering charges brought against the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (RTD) by the Federal Government since 2015.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, prosecution counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN) told Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, handling that matter that, he was informed that the former NSA refused to come to court.
Okpeseyi told the court that Dasuki refused to come to court despite all the efforts made by the complainant (Federal Government) to make him appear in court to face his trial and added that the former NSA did not give a reason for refusing to come to court.
He said, it was worrisome, as the prosecution witness, who testified yesterday came all the way for Maiduguri, the Borno state capital and himself, who came from Lagos because of the matter.
In his submission, Dasuki’s counsel, Adeola Adedipe, who held brief for Joseph Daudu (SAN) told the court that he was not aware that the former NSA will not be in court for the matter yesterday.
He, however, added that Dasuki has been consistent in appearing in court for his trial and that the allegation that he (Dasuki) refused to come in court was an issue that requires evidence.
He said there was no evidence before the court to show that Dasuki said he will not be in court for his trial, adding also that, it was a failure on the part of the prosecution to produce the defendant, who is in their custody.
However, the trial Judge informed that the lead defence counsel, J. B Daudu had earlier written to the court seeking for an adjournment on the ground that he will not be disposed to be in court yesterday.
Justice Mohammed said even if Dasuki was in court, the matter could not have come up because of the absence of the defence counsel and adjourned till February 8, 2018, for the continuation of trial.
The Federal Government, in the charges against the former NSA, alleged that he (Dasuki), on or before July 17, 2015, was in possession of prohibited firearms without license, and by so doing had committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearm Act Cap F28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Dasuki was accused of being in possession of 5 Tavor X95 Assault Rifles without requisite license, an offence that is punishable under Section 28 (1) (a) of Firearms Act.
The Federal Government also alleged that Dasuki, in his residence at No. 13 John Khalifa street Asokoro, Abuja, on or about July 17, 2015, was found in illegal possession of one (1) Macro Uzi Assault Rifle with serial number 60244 without request licence.
He was also said to be in illegal possession of one (1) Luger Rifle with serial number 033373 without a licence and also accused of stealing.
Counts six and seven bordered on alleged money laundering offences to the tune of $190,000 and N42million found in his residence.
That, Dasuki, on or about 17th July 2015 at his Abuja residence, was found to be in unlawful possession of the sum of 40,000USD; N5million and 20,000pounds sterling, which the  Federal Government claimed were part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
Count seven alleged that Dasuki, in his Sokoto residence, on or about 16th July 2015, was found to be possession of 150,000USD; N37million, “which forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
The former NSA denied all the charges preferred against by the Federal Government.
Credits/Sources: www.tribuneonlineng.com