Court Admits EFCC Document in Evidence Against Dasuki
An FCT High Court, on Wednesday admitted in evidence document tended by EFCC in the allegation of diversion of N13.6 arms funds made against Retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned on a 19-count charge.
He is being tried alongside Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director.
Two firms, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital limited are also being tried.
The trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, admitted in evidence some documents, which the first prosecution witness, Mr Michael Adariku sought to tender through the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Baba-Yusuf overruled submissions by all the defence counsel and admitted the documents, and adjourned the matter till March 16 for continuation of hearing.
Earlier, Mr Michael Adariku, an official of EFCC and first prosecution witness, told the court that on September 2015, he received a report on Dasuki, alleging abuse of his office and Money Laundering.
He said letters were sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the account of NSA domiciled with CBN, adding that on Sept. 22, the apex bank responded.
He said the analysis showed movement of funds to various companies, which included Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital limited in UBA, ECO and First Banks.
“N600 million and N650 million were paid into Acacia accounts with UBA and ECO bank respectively, while N750 million was in Reliance and First Bank.
“We wrote to these banks to furnish us with the account statements and responses were received from them.
“When we analysed the responses, we found out that the funds were from the office of NSA account domiciled in CBN.
“From the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), we also got a response, which was analysed and found out that the 3rd defendant, Aminu Kusa was the principal shareholder of the companies.
“We invited him and others to our office and confronted them with those responses and they volunteered statements,’’ he said.
The prosecuting counsel had sought to tender the documents, but that was objected by the defence counsel.
The defence counsel specifically objected to the admissibility of the documents from CAC, and account statements from UBA, ECO and First Banks.
Their argument was that the documents were not duly certified and did not comply with the Provisions of Sections 104 and 84 of the Evidence Act.
The prosecuting counsel had argued that the laws guiding the operations of banking allowed those documents to be admitted.
At the resumed hearing earlier, Mr Ahmed Raji, Daski’s counsel had informed the court that he had application for consolidation of the two cases.
“In regard to the situation in the two matters, we are filing a motion for consolidation of the two set of charges.
“And with all due sense of responsibility, we urge your lordship to consider this application, which we believe will help in the effective management’’.
He said that they waited till now to allow for the re-arraignment, which held on Tuesday.
“Now the coast is cleared, other defence counsel aligned’’.
Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), counsel to the 3rd defendant, said that because it was in line with history as a matter of fact, the whole exercise was to ensure that the two cases were properly managed.
Jacobs urged the court to recall the antecedent “that brought us to this stage of transfer and consolidation’’.
“We agreed to transfer the two matters to one court and handle them separately, that was our understanding.
“But now, they are coming out with this application, this is 2015 case and we have not commenced trial.
“For us to progress, let us continue with what we have agreed.’’
He reminded the court that justice was not only for the defendants.
Jacobs said that the case should be allowed to start, alleging that there was a mind-set not to allow the case to go on.
Raji informed the court that this motion had been there, but only needed to be fine tuned.
He said the application was previously filed on May 31, praying for the consolidation and transfer and was already pending and have not be cleared.
Umoh, said that the reaction from Rotimi was that of fear that the case would drag.
He wished for a measure of progress on the matter if there could be a way to look at it , including the three lawyers. (NAN)