Again, the trial of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) and four others before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, met a brick wall on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 as J.B. Daudu, SAN, the lead counsel to the first defendant, Dasuki, sought a long adjournment to enable his client prepare for his trial.
Dasuki, alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser; Aminu Babakusa, a former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 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).
The trial had been stalled at the last sitting due to the absence of the first defendant and his counsel.
Dasuki, according to the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had flatly refused to appear in court at the last sitting on the grounds that his counsel won’t attend the day’s proceedings.
At the resumed hearing today, Daudu filed an application seeking a long adjournment of the trial on the grounds that he had not had access to the first defendant, thereby preventing him from taking instructions from him and preparing for his trial.
“The defendant needs the facilities to enable him have access to his documents in preparation for trial,’’ he said.
Daudu also prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the Appeal Court decide on the stay of proceedings before it.
However, Jacobs, SAN, who was represented by Adebisi Adeniyi, countered that the application for adjournment lacked merit.
According to him, “The application lacks merit, as there is no proof before the court that the defendant was denied access to his counsel.
“The mere fact that there is an application before the Appeal Court is not enough for my Lord to stay this proceedings, except there is an order from the Appeal Court to do so”, he said.
Consequently, Justice Baba-Yusuf ordered the prosecution to provide facilities for the first defendant to have access to his counsel during business hours between Monday and Friday.
The matter was adjourned to May 3, 2016 for commencement of trial.