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$2.1bn armsgate: Judge, defence counsel disagree over Dasuki’s trial

The judge in the trial of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, yesterday disagreed with the defence counsel over a fresh…

The judge in the trial of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, yesterday disagreed with the defence counsel over a fresh motion for consolidation brought before the court.
Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf of the FCT High Court said he would not indulge the defence counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) after he had asked to have the two cases pending before two separate court rooms in the court joined in one court.
He said trying Dasuki on a 19-count charge of diversion of $2.1bn arms funds before him and another 22-counts charge before Justice Peter Affen bordered on the same transaction and facts, was unconstitutional and prejudicial to his fair trial.
But Justice Yusuf replied that the application was intended to delay the proceedings, warning that it would not work in his court.
 “If you think the mission of this new motion is to delay the trial, I can assure you that it has already failed. I know your antecedents in this type of cases, filing frivolous, baseless and un-warranted motions to frustrate the court and trial of your client,” he said.
Following the exchanges, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and defence counsel Akin Olujimi (SAN), pleaded for an adjournment to enable tempers calm down.
Dasuki was charged alongside Salisu Shuaibu, a former Director of Finance at the NSA’s office; Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former Group Executive Director of NNPC; Acacia Holdings Ltd, and Reliance Referral Hospital Ltd on 19-counts charge of diversion of funds totalling N32bn. The judge adjourned the case to June 15 for hearing of the motion.
 

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