A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama Thursday rejected a request by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki for a consolidation of two charges pending against him and others before the court.
Ruling Thursday, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf said Dasuki did not substantiate his claim that he will suffer double geopardy should he be tried separately on both charges.
“The allegation of double jeopardy was not substantiated because trial has not commenced in the other matter, so it is premature to consolidate the charges,” the judge said.
Justice Baba-Yusuf also rejected Dasuki’s argument that the simultaneous prosecution of both cases amounted to an abuse of court process.
He said the persons involved in both cases are not the same and the transactions on the two charges were not carried out on the same date.
Dasuki’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN) had, while arguing the application on March 2 this year, urged the court to consolidate consolidate the two charges marked: CR/42/2015: FRN VS Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) & 4 others and CR/43/2015: FRN VS Bashir Yuguda, Sabo Dasuki & 4 others.
Raji said the application was brought pursuant to Sections 211, 212 and 213 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
He said the application was intended to avoid the abuse of court processes and prevented his client from suffering double jeopardy.
Prosecuting lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) opposed the application and said it was unfortunate that Dasuki chose to file the application.
Jacobs, who described the application as an abuse of court’s process, noted that Dasuki filed a similar application dated May 21, 2016 which he was yet to withdraw.
He noted that parties had agreed to have the two cases tried before the same judge, which necessitated a letter from Dasuki’s other lawyer, Joseph Daudu to the Chief Judge of the High Court of the FCT, advising that the two cases be handled by a judge in the interest of speedy dispensation of justice.
Jacobs, who described the application as a ploy to frustrate the trial urged the court to dismiss it.
Justice Baba Yusuf, after his ruling yesterday, adjourned to today for trial.
Dasuki is, in the first charge of 22 counts, named with a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Bafarawa, a former Director of Finance and Administration in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda an Sagir’s firm – Dalhatu Investment as defendants.
They are charged, among others, with diverting about N13bn said to have been meant for the purchase of arms.
In the second charge of 19 counts, Dasuki, Salisu, and Aminu Baba-Kusa and Baba-Kusa’s two firms – Acacia Holdings Ltd and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are accused of diverting N32bn meant for purchase of arms.
The two cases are now before Justice Baba- Yusuf.