By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The former National Security Adviser(NSA) Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) yesterday, filed an application seeking the indefinite suspension of his trial pending when the Federal Government obeys orders of court of competent jurisdiction which granted him bail.
The embattled former NSA boss, had refused to appear before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for his trial over allegation of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
Following this development, the trial judge, had on November 19,
granted an order that the defendant be prosecuted in abstentia.
However, the matter, scheduled for hearing in his abstentia yesterday, was stalled due to an application filed by Adeola Adedipe on behalf of the former NSA.
The application dated December 10, was premised on Sections 1(1) & (2), 104, 105, 106, 159(2), 268, 491 & 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015; and Sections 6(6), 35, 16, 37, 41, 42, 105 & 174 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Dasuki, in the application, prayed the court for an order to adjourn sine die, his trial and or further trial, pending compliance by the complainant with the court’s judgment (per Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu] of 2nd July 2018, in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018, between COL.
MOHAMMED SAMBO DASUKI RTD. v. THE DG SSS & 2 ORS.
Dasuki also asked the court to make an order directing the lead counsel for the complainant (Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN) to produce and submit to the court, the direction of the Attorney General of the Federation on the court’s judgment (per Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu) of 2nd July 2018, in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/263/2018, between COL MOHAMMED SAMBO DASUKI RTD. v. THE DG SSS & 2 ORS.
Adedipe submitted that the trial cannot go on because of the application challenging the competence of the prosecution counsel Oladipupo Okpeseyi SAN to continue with the trial.
In his reaction, Okpeseyi told the court that even though he was served with the defendant’s application in court, it would still not affect the already slated definite hearing because the motion was not ripe for hearing.
“My lord, on the last adjourned date of November 19, this court scheduled December 11, for commencement of trial; we have our witness in court and ready to proceed.
The prosecution counsel had argued that the application was premature and couldn’t be the basis for the court to discharge the scheduled hearing.
In a bench ruling, Justice Mohammed admitted that it was correct to say that the matter was adjourned for definite hearing as well as correct to say that the defendant’s application was not ripe for hearing.
However, the court held that if it continues to hear the matter, it then means that the court had automatically heard and rejected the application.
More so, Justice Mohammed noted that issues raised by the defendant are threshold.
Consequently, the court fixed January 9, 2019 for hearing of Dasuki’s application.