Judge: Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family or through any counsel?
Dasuki: No, my Lord, except if the DSS agents, who are reporting the allegation did.
Dasuki was arraigned before the court on September 1, 2015, accused of unlawful possession of arms and money laundering.
After some delay caused by the defence, the trial opened on May 18, with the prosecution calling its first witness, Samuel Ogbu, a senior DSS operative.
Ogbu told the court how the team he worked with interviewed Dasuki and obtained a statement from him in the comfort of his home on July 17, 2015. He gave details of how the team searched the ex-NSA’s private home in Asokoro, Abuja, recovered five Tavor rifles, one Lugar rifle, one micro Uzi rifle, various categories of ammunition and cash in both local and foreign currencies.
The trial was later stalled when the prosecution applied to have its other witnesses shielded from public glare to protect them from possible harm, an application the defence rejected, following which Justice Ademola scheduled ruling on the application for October 18.
Parties had expected the judge to deliver the ruling when proceedings opened yesterday, but Justice Ademola announces his withdrawal from the case, citing his trouble in the hands of the DSS.
Before withdrawing from the case, Justice Ademola said:
“Of course, I have responded to that allegation of receiving unspecified sums of money from the defendant. But, it will be wise for him to answer some questions.”
Judge: “Do you know me at all or have come in contact with me?”
Defendant: “I don’t know you, my Lord.”
Judge: “Did you, at any time, give me money in respect of the ongoing trial?”
Defendant: “No, my Lord. I didn’t give you any money.”
Judge: “Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family or through any counsel?”
Defendant: “No, my Lord, except if the DSS agents, who are reporting the allegation did.”
Lead prosecution lawyer Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN) said: “We are guided by your Lordship’s decision, even though we had come for a ruling and continuation of trial.”