By Edith Nwapi and Judith Ezeudogu
The absence of retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA) to ex-Prersident Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday stalled the hearing of the case in an FCT High Court.
Dasuki, Bashir Yuguda, a former Minister of State for Finance, Attahiru Bafarawa, ex-governor of Sokoto State, his son Sagir and their firm Dalhatu Investment were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misappropriating N13 billion.
At the resumed sitting, the Prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court that he was surprised that Dasuki was not brought to court by the EFCC.
Jocabs said that he notified EFCC of the trial and the need to produce Dasuki in court but regretted that communication gap between the EFCC and Department of State Service (DSS) was responsible for non-production of Dauski.
He, therefore, applied for a stood down of the case to enable EFCC produce Dasuki in court but did not give a definite time.
Chief Olajide Ayodele (SAN), Counsel to Yuguda, opposed the application for stand down, saying the request if granted would not serve any useful purpose.
Ayodele said that the failure of the prosecution to give a definite time within which Dasuki could be brought to court by either EFCC or DSS was an indication that he had no knowledge of what was transpiring between the EFCC and DSS on the matter.
He, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment in the trial as better option so as not to keep the court and the lawyers waiting till eternity.
Mr Joesph Daudu (SAN) Counsel to Dasuki, aligned with Ayodele and regretted that the government which put the ex-NSA on trial was the one scuttling the trial.
Daudu informed the court that since June 2016 when the matter was adjourned to today, the EFCC which initiated the trial on behalf of the Federal Government ought to have known that it was its responsibility to produce Dasuki in court as required by the law.
He further told the court that the outcome of the application before Justice Husseni Baba-Yusuf for consolidation of the two cases involving Dauski would also determine how the case would go.
Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), Counsel to former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, Dr Kayode Olatoke (SAN), and Akeem Afolabi (SAN), lawyers to other defendants, aligned themselves with the argument of the other lawyers and pleaded for an adjournment.
Justice Peter Affen adjourned the matter till Oct. 21 for commencement of trial.