Produce Dasuki, Court orders DSS, EFCC
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama has issued a production warrant on the Department of State Services (DSS) with an order to formally produce before the court, a former National Security Adviser, Com. Sambo Dasuki to continue trial.
Dasuki is standing trial alongside a former NNPC Executive Director, Aminu Baba-Kusa, and two firms — Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital on 32 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion
At the opening session on Tuesday, EFCC counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe informed the court about his readiness to proceed with the trial as his witness from Port Harcourt is in court. He complained about the absence of Dasuki.
In reaction, Dasuki’s counsel, Victor Okudili said the prosecution had no right to question the absence of his client.
“I am surprised that the prosecution is questioning the absence of my client who is in his custody.
It is in the place of the prosecution to say why they have not brought the first defendant to court”
Buttressing the submissions of Mr Okudili, Solomon Umoh (SAN) who represented Baba-Kusa said: “the court would agree that it is common knowledge that the defendant is in custody of the state.”
He added that although the court can exercise its powers by issuing a production warrant or issuing a bench warrant against the defendant, the circumstances, in this case, is different.
Umoh said Issuance of a re-production warrant can only be done when a defendant is in “lawful custody”. But he said that cannot be granted because no court signed Dasuki into custody.
The learned silk also said a bench warrant can only be granted when the defendant is on the run to escape justice.
Responding to Umoh’s submissions, Atolagbe said the supreme court has established that the former NSA is in custody of the DSS and not the EFCC. He, therefore, urged the court to issue a production warrant.
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that despite the fact that Dasuki is DSS custody, it is the responsibility of the EFCC to work with them to ensure Dasuki is brought to court.
He granted issued a production warrant and adjourned the case to May 24.