By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
Justice Ahmed R. Mohamed of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday, ordered the Federal Government, to commence with the trial of ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Rtd. Col Sambo Dasuki, should defence fail to produce him on the next sitting.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC, is trying Dasuki on a five count charge of alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
At the resumed trial, yesterday, Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN, presented a letter to the court, seeking for an adjournment, a development, which the prosecution Counsel, Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN objected.
The court registrar read out a letter submitted from Daudu chambers informing the court that he (Daudu) was attending the Body of Benchers meeting at the Supreme Court.
According to the letter, the defence is praying the court to adjourn the matter to enable him appear at the next adjourned date.
Reacting, Prosecution Counsel, Okpeseyi SAN, informed the court that even though he has been served with the letter from the defence lawyer praying for an adjournment, the letter was pregnant with unanswered questions.
“As innocent as the letter looks, it is pregnant because this letter is asking the court to decide whether the rights and privileges of a citizen with the authority of the court is subservient to that of the body of benches.
“Whichever way the court resolve the issue, we are bound by the decision of the court. On our part, we are ready. Our witnesses are also here in court. The ACJA has specified time and period for adjournment.
“If the defence counsel fails to appear in court at the next sitting, the court is at liberty to proceed with the case,” the prosecution argued.
In a bench ruling, Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter to March 9 and 10 at the instance of the prosecution.
He okayed the submission of the prosecution to go ahead with the trial should the defence failed to appear in court at the next adjourned date.
It could be recalled that Daudu had also on Jan 18, 2018, failed to appear for the trial without clearly stating the reason why he was away from the court.
The Federal Government had accused Dasuki to had illegally stored five Tavor X95 assault rifles with numbers 45801168, 45801169, 45801175, 45801176 and 4801199.
The other items allegedly found from the residences of the accused person in Abuja and Sokoto, respectively, included ammunition and cash sums running into millions of naira.