Dasuki to shun court until government obeys bail orders
Erstwhile National Security Adviser |(NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) yesterday said he would no longer appear for trial on alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering until the Federal Government obeyed orders admitting him to bail.
He is also being tried on alleged breach of public trust and diversion of public funds for purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
The retired army official had pleaded not guilty to all charges and was granted bail.
However, the government, through the Department of State Services (DSS) has since kept him in custody.
When the matter came up yesterday before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Dasuki was absent and his lawyer, Victor Okwudiri, drew attention to a letter written and signed by him stating his intention to stop appearing for trial until the prosecution obeyed court orders demanding his release from prison.
The letter, dated November 12, 2018 and addressed to the court’s registrar, was titled, “Unabated Persecution of Mohammed Sambo (rtd) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Dasuki asked the court to excuse him since the DSS, an agent of government detaining him, had refused to respect the various valid orders for his bail.
The one-time NSA stated that various courts granted him bail which the federal authorities had impugned.
The prosecution counsel, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), however, urged the court to try the accused in absentia.
He predicated his prayer on the ground that the matters for which he is being denied bail were independent of the instant case, describing the defendant’s action as an affront.
Okpeseyi lamented that the absence of the defendant had again stalled the day’s proceedings.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed held he would not grant the prosecution’s request unless it deposes to an affidavit accusing the defence of willfully avoiding the court.
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