The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opposed the bail applications filed by the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), and two others before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, where they were on Monday arraigned on 19 counts of misappropriation of about N32bn meant for the purchase of arms.
The prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), in separate counter-affidavits to the bail applications, said the accused persons could abscond if granted bail by the court.
Those arraigned along with Dasuki, before Justice Yusuf Baba on Monday, are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and Aminu Baba-Kusa.
Aminu-Kusa’s two firms – Acacia Holdings Ltd and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited – are also part of the accused.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the 19 counts involving the misappropriation of about N32bn when the charges were read to them on Monday.
Baba-Kusa pleaded not guilty for himself and on behalf of his two firms.
Dasuki was represented by his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), who is also defending him in his trial of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, instituted against him before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
While Salisu was represented by Mr. A.U. Mustapha, Baba-Kusa was represented by Ms. Umahani Ali.
The judge adjourned till 12pm on Tuesday for the hearing of the accused persons’ bail applications.
In the counter-affidavit, filed by the EFCC against Dasuki’s application, sighted by our correspondent on Monday, the prosecution stated that “the severity of the punishment upon conviction, which awaits the applicant, is an incentive for him to jump bail.”
The prosecution also opposed his bail application on the grounds that as “a former military officer and a former NSA,” Dasuki had the power to influence witnesses and in effect frustrate his trial.
It added that the accused person was still under investigation for more allegations against him and currently facing other criminal charges before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.
The accused persons were led away by the EFCC operatives, who produced them in court earlier in the day.
There is also facing another set of charges involving Dasuki, Salisu, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir Attahiru, and their firm, Dalhatu Investment.
Justice Peter Affe of the same FCT High Court in Maitama, where the case against them was filed, on Monday, granted the EFCC leave to prefer the charges against the accused persons.
The second set of charges involves 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13.651bn meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram in the North-East.
The accused were said to have misappropriated a total of N13.651bn between August, 2013 and May 7, 2015.
In the 19 charges on which Dasuki and others were arraigned on Monday, the EFCC alleged that a former Special Assistant, Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Warimpamowei Dudafa, was on the run for his involvement in the release of N10bn from the NSA office to the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential primary delegates.
They were accused of misappropriating about N32bn between January 13, 2013 and April 17, 2015, amounting to an offence of criminal breach of trust against the provisions of Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, and Section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
They were also charged with dishonest receipt of stolen property in breach of sections 97 and 317 of the Penal Code Act as well as receipt of proceeds of criminal conduct in breach of Section 17(b) of the EFCC Act.
Part of the charges in the first set are, “That you Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, whilst being National Security Adviser and Shaibu Salisu, whilst being the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser and Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa (now at large), whilst being Senior Special Assistant, Domestic Affairs to the President, on or about November 27, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, entrusted with dominion over certain properties to wit: the sum of N10bn, being part of the funds in the account of the National Security Adviser with the CBN, the equivalent of which sum you received from the CBN in foreign currencies to wit: $47m and €5.6m (Euros), committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property when you claimed to have distributed same to the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Primary Election delegates and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Vol.4, LFN 2004.