Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), says he is not ready for trial until the federal government complies with an order of the federal high court granting him bail. In November 2015, Justice Adeniyi Ademola had granted Dasuki bail, but the Department of State Services (DSS) rearrested him immediately after his release from Kuje prison. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), counsel to the DSS, had announced to the court on Tuesday that the prosecution was ready for trial to commence.
But Joseph Daodu, counsel to Dasuki, said that the defence counsel was not ready to proceed with the trial because the federal government was still keeping the accused person in detention despite an order of the court granting him bail. “We cannot be ready for trial until the defendant enjoys his constitutional rights,” he said.
“We apply that we should be given time to prepare the defence. The conduct of the prosecution has not enabled him to enjoy his constitutional rights. “The worst is that for about seven weeks we do not know where he is. Any of us here who proceeds to defend an accused person in this circumstance may lose his license of practice.”
However, Okpeseyi argued that the prosecution was not stopping Dasuki from enjoying his freedom. He said that the accused person was not being allegedly held for the charges before the court. He therefore asked the court to reject the request for adjournment and to commence trial. But the court adjourned to March 3 for hearing of a motion to discharge Dasuki.
Dasuki is facing a four-count charge of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms brought against him by the DSS. He is also facing multiple counts of laundering money at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court, Abuja.
Source: The Cable