Again, court grants Dasuki bail as EFCC re-arraigns ex-NSA, others
The trial judge, Justice Baba Yusuf, reaffirmed the bail for Dasuki on the ground that he was entitled to it and having been admitted to it since 2015 when the criminal charges were preferred against him by the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that Dasuki had been granted bail in three different court to enable him prepare for his defence but the bail orders have not been complied with by the government who has kept him in custody since December 2015.
The former NSA along with five others were yesterday re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf on criminal charges including charges transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the same FCT High Court.
Others charged along with Dasuki were former Finance Minister of State, Mallam Bashir Yuguda, a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu, Dalhatu Investment, Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.
They were charged with corruption and breach of trust contrary to Section 215 of the Penal Code and Section 17B of the EFCC Act 2004.All six defendants pleaded not guilty to the 22-count charge when read to them. Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji, therefore applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted to the ex-NSA.
Raji submitted that it was on record that the FCT High Court 24 admitted Colonel Dasuki (rtd) on bail before he was arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Raji argued that with the transfer of the case from Justice Affen to Justice Baba Yusuf, the DSS has been separated from the matter, adding that the court record indicated that the ex-NSA is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not DSS that had been acting as interloper.
The counsel further said that the illegal act of interloper should not be used to divest the court of its power to reaffirm the bail granted Dasuki earlier because he is entitled to it.
The SAN then urged Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Dasuki before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.
The counsel argued that it was wrong of the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) to have objected to the reaffirmation of the bail condition on Dasuki. He added that he (Dasuki) has in his possession a judgment of the ECOWAS Court, which last year set aside the unlawful detention of the ex-NSA and also imposed a fine of N15 million on the Federal Government as compensation to his client.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had informed the court that he has no objection to the affirmation of the bail earlier granted to five other defendants in the trial but however, urged the judge not to make any pronouncement or order in respect of the bail for Dasuki since he has not been allowed to enjoy any bail.
Justice Baba Yusuf, in his brief ruling, said that it is undisputable fact that the NSA was admitted bail in 2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of the security agencies.He adjourned trial in the matter to February 24, 2016.
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