Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Tuesday issued a warrant on the Department of State Security (DSS) ordering the agency to produce the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki in court.
He gave the order following Dasuki’s absence from Tuesday’s proceedings in one of the ex-NSA’s two separate trials relating to corruption charges involving arms funds scandal.
Dasuki who is being tried alongside Aminu Kusa, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital, has been in detention of the State Security Service (SSS) since December 2015, despite six court orders that granted him bail.
They were arraigned on 32 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, counsel to the federal government, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that the matter was for the continuation of trial and that he was ready to proceed with a witness in court.
Responding, the counsel to Dasuki, Victor Okwudili, said, “I am not surprised that the prosecution is seeking an explanation for my client who is absent when he knows he is in the prosecution custody.
“And, it would be in a better place for the prosecution to explain to the court why they have not brought the first defendant to court.
Solomon Umoh, a counsel to the second defendant, Aminu Baba-Kusa, on his part said, “Without playing a hide and seek, your Lordship may agree that it is now common knowledge that the defendant is in custody of the state.
“Your Lordship’s dilemma, which I sympathise with in this trial, is that, in as much the Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) allows trial in absentia, this is one occasion that the law never contemplated. Thus, it cannot fall within the provision act.”
The judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf, then issued a production warrant, by which Dasuki is expected to be brought to court on May 24.