Prominent politicians from the opposition party have been listed as beneficiaries of the alleged diversion of $2.1 billion arms funds in the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The list includes National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus; former Chairman, Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih; former PDP spokesperson, Chief Olisa Metuh; Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena; Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman, Africa Independent Television (AIT), Dr. Raymond Dokpesi; Mouftah Baba-Ahmed, Bello Abba Mohammed, Dr. Bello Mohammed, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) M.N. Umar, Otunba Jonah Ogunniyi, among others. Corporate organisations were also named as beneficiaries in the new charges.
The development came as the Federal Government filed fresh 32-count amended charge against Dasuki and three others.
Apart from filing new charges with fresh names, a new twist was also introduced into the trial by government as a key defendant in the matter, Salisu Shuaib, who was a former Director of Finance and Supply in the ONSA under Dasuki was dropped from the new charge.
The amended charge, dated April 30, 2018, was signed by Director of Legal Services with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Chile Okoroma.
However, no reason could be immediately obtained why the former Director of Finance in the office of the National Security Adviser who served along with Dasuki was dropped from the trial having been arraigned together since 2015.
But lead counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who was sighted at the FCT High Court along with Dasuki, told judiciary correspondents that he did not know the deal between Shuaib, the Federal Government and the EFCC on the new twist.
Raji, however, said subsequent events in the trial would reveal to the defendants and their counsel all the circumstances leading to the dropping of the core accused, adding that “till then, we will keep our fingers crossed.”
Meanwhile, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court is expected to take the fresh plea of the four defendants on May 17, 2018.