Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal capital Territory (FCT) high court, Abuja, has struck out the application of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), to stop his trial.
Dasuki had sought three prayers from the court, ultimately to stop his trial. He predicated his prayers on seven grounds implicit in the violation of his rights to bail by the federal government.
However, Justice Baba-Yusuf held that the central issue to be considered was whether or not the federal government was in contempt of court for failing to release the accused person after he was granted bail. He ruled that the federal government was not in contempt of court because it was a stranger agent, the DSS, that was holding him, and not the EFCC, which is the main prosecution in the case.
He thereafter struck out Dasuki’s application for lacking in merit.
The court had fixed Monday to rule on whether to discharge or to continue the trial of Dasuki for money laundering charges brought against him by the federal government. Justice Baba-Yusuf fixed the date after counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daodu (SAN), and counsel to the federal government, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had addressed the court on a motion praying the release of the former NSA.
In the motion, Daodu asked the court to stop the federal government from prosecuting him until he was released.
He argued that the federal government could not lawfully prosecute Dasuki because it had been in contempt of the court. He premised his arguments on the fact that Justice Baba-Yusuf had granted Dasuki bail on December 18, and after perfecting the bail conditions, he was rearrested, and taken into custody by the Department of the State Services (DSS).
He claimed that since Dasuki was rearrested on December 29, 2015, he had been kept away from his lawyers and family.
The counsel therefore urged the court to compel the federal government to release the former NSA. He also argued that the government and its agencies had no moral and legal right to prosecute Dasuki since they disobeyed the orders of three high courts, admitting him to bail.
However, in his brief, counsel to the federal government, Jacobs, told the Judge that the motion was an abuse of court process because there was no evidence to show that the accused person was rearrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said that it was the DSS, and not the EFCC (the prosecution) that rearrested Dasuki. He advised Dasuki to evoke section 46 of the constitution and institute a civil action to challenge his arrest and enforce his fundamental right to liberty.