Wilson Ujuwaren, Abuja: Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on Friday, October 21, 2016 granted the application brought by the EFCC, seeking the consolidation of the two separate criminal charges against former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others with respect to their involvement in the infamous N2.1billion arms scam.
Dasuki (first defendant) alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director, Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA; Aminu Babakusa, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited are being prosecuted by the EFCC, on a 19-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N13, 570,000, 000.00( Thirteen Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy Million Naira).
Similarly, Dasuki is also being prosecuted by the anti graft agency alongside Bashir Yuguda, a former Minister of State for Finance; Attahiru Bafarawa, ex-governor of Sokoto State; his son, Sagir and their firm, Dalhatu Investment, for N13billion fraud before Justice Afem.
At the last hearing on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, moved an application for the consolidation of the two cases to allow for diligent prosecution.
Jacobs and Dasuki’s counsel, Joseph Daudu, SAN, then agreed before Justice Baba Yusuf to formally write the Chief Judge of the FCT judiciary, Justice Ishaq Bello, to consolidate the two charges in the interest of Justice.
The two counsels also urged Justice Baba-Yusuf to adjourn the matter pending the time the Chief Judge would consider the application for consolidation.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned to October 21, 2016 to allow the two parties reach a consensus and present the outcome of their meeting with the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Abuja.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to EFCC, O. A. Atolagbe told Justice Baba-Yusuf that, “we met with Justice Afeem a few minutes ago and he has ruled that the sister charge, CR/42/15, be transferred to this honourable court. We urge your Lordship to adjourn the two cases to the same day for trial or for further directions.”
The defence counsels raised no objection to the prosecution’s pleadings.
Consequently, Justice Baba-Yusuf granted the application and ruled that the two cases be consolidated adding that, “the implication of this transfer is that the prosecution will serve the defence counsels so that the defendants can be re-arraigned before this court.”
He, therefore, adjourned to November 16, 2016 for re-arraignment of the accused persons.