Arms deal: Consolidate charges against me, Dasuki prays court
Stories by Vivian Okejeme
Embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Mohammed, Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has pleaded with the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, to consolidate the two criminal charges brought against him in the interest of justice, fair play and due process.
The erstwhile NSA boss alleged that the federal government, in the quest to nail him, has engaged in gross abuse of court and legal process, by instituting various criminal charges against him on just one issue of the Office of the National Security Adviser.
In a fresh motion he filed to challenge the alleged abuse of court process by government, Dasuki said it was wrong in law and even against natural justice for the government to prosecute him on two different charges on the same alleged arms fund diversion.
In the motion filed by his lead counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN, the ex-NSA insisted that the two charges be consolidated by the authorities of the court in the interest of justice in order to rescue him from double jeopardy allegedly planned for him by government.
The motion on notice was brought pursuant to sections 6(6)(a); 36(5) & (9) of the 1999 constitution (as amended); section 1(1); 208;396 (3); 491 & 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015; section 25 of the Interpretation Act.
Dasuki sought an order of the court consolidating charge no FCT/HC/CR 2015 between FRN VS COL. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) & 4 others with charge No FCT/HC/CR/2015 between FRN VS Bashir Yuguda, Col. Mhammed Sabo Dasuki & 4 others.
He also applied for an order compelling the Federal Government to amend charge No FCT/HC/CR 2015 between FRN VS COL. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) & 4 others with charge No. FCT/HC/CR/2015 between FRN VS Bashir Yuguda, Col. Mhammed Sabo Dasuki & 4 others in line with his request for consolidation
Dasuki also demanded for another order declaring that the simultaneous prosecution of the two charges against him from one issue, is unconstitutional and prejudicial to his right to fair trial and is consequently an abuse of court process.
In a 28-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by one Dolapo Kehinde, it was stated that Dasuki is standing trial on two different charges from the same issue of alleged diversion of N51.7billion and breach of public trust when he was the NSA.
The deponent claimed that Dasuki will be put to great disadvantage because the trial is constitutionally unfair to subject any person to more than one trial on the same subject matter and that the defendant stands the risk of double jeopardy with trial on two sets of charges which border on the same set of facts.
It was also claimed that trial on two sets of charges from one issue will bring hardships to the court and Dasuki if the 15 witnesses testify in two different proceedings over the same issue and the same transaction.
The affidavit further claimed that the prosecution will not be prejudiced if the two charges are consolidated but will serve the interest of justice and the effective administration of criminal Justice.
In the alternative, Dasuki prayed that his name be struck out from one of the two charges in the interest of justice.
The other parties in the matter are; former Director of Finance and Administration, ONSA, Shuaibu Salisu; former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Babakusa and two firms: Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
When the matter came up Friday, Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji SAN announced that he has a pending motion seeking consolidation of the two charges against his client, but the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, complained that the new motion was to frustrate and delay the trial and urged the court not to entertain demotion.
However, Justice Baba Yusuf said that since the motion has been filed and served, it will not serve any purpose for the court to close its eyes on it.
He then adjourned hearing of the motion till March 2.