Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Thursday, March 16, dismissed the application by Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), former National Security Adviser (NSA) seeking to consolidate the two separate charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) had on March 2, while moving the motion, told the court that his application dated February 22, 2017 before the court seeking to consolidate the two charges HC/ FCT/CR/42 and HC/ FCT/CR/ 43 against his client was brought pursuant to Sections 211, 212 and 213 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Raji, while urging the Court to grant the consolidation of the two charges argued that the motion is designed to avoid the abuse of court processes and double jeopardy.
However, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) opposed the application vehemently, informing the court, of a counter affidavit he had filed dated February 28, 2017.
He told the court that, “the application is very unfortunate” arguing that “there was a similar application by the defendant dated May 21, 2016 before the court on the same prayer which was yet to be moved and never withdrawn and so it is a clear abuse of process.”
Jacobs reminded the court that all parties had agreed to have the two cases tried before the same judge which necessitated a letter from the then NBA President, J. B. Daudu, to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court advising that the two cases be handled by a judge in the interest of speedy dispensation of justice.
The learned silk, who described the application as a ploy to frustrate the trial, urged the court to discountenance and dismiss it.
Justice Baba-Yusuf, while dismissing the application today, held that, “the allegation of double jeopardy was not substantiated because trial has not commenced in the other matter, so it is premature to consolidate the charges”.
The judge also held that, “it is unfounded that simultaneous prosecution of the two cases is an abuse of court process because the dramatic personnel are not the same and the transactions on the two charges are not carried out on the same date”.
The case has been fixed for March 17, 2017 for trial.
Dasuki is facing a 22-count charge of illegal diversion of N19.4 billion 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 fund which was part of the $2.1 billion 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.