Alleged refusal by the erstwhile National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), to appear in court, yesterday, stalled hearing on the 19-count money laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and four others.
At the resumed sitting,yesterday, EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that the former NSA, who has been in detention since November 3, 2015, refused to be brought to court. More after the cut…
He said: “My lord, yesterday (Tuesday) the 1st defendant was notified that this matter will come up today (Wednesday) for hearing and that he should prepare. “However, this morning, the 1st defendant refused to come to court on the ground that his lead counsel, Mr. J. B. Daudu, SAN, and Ahmed Raji, SAN, will not be in court. “We persuaded him to at least come to court first but he refused and insisted that he cannot be abducted. “This recent action is a deliberate game-plan by the defendant and his counsel to ensure that this trial does not go on today. My witnesses are here and ready to testify. The blatant refusal by the defendant to appear in court amounts to misconduct.” Nevertheless, the lawyer who announced appearance for Dasuki, Mr. Wale Balogun, told the court that he was not aware of any of the allegations the prosecution raised against his client. He contended that the onus was on the prosecution to produce the defendant who has been in its custody, in court for trial. “The learned silk cannot give evidence from the bar. His allegations should have been supported by an affidavit duly deposed before this court,” Balogun argued.
Similarly, counsel to the other defendants agreed with Dasuki’s lawyer that EFCC ought to have backed the allegations with an affidavit evidence.
They equally noted that the matter could not proceed as scheduled owing to the absence of the 1st defendant. After listening to the parties, Justice Yusuf adjourned the matter till April 6.