A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory has ruled that the two sets of charges brought against former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), cannot be consolidated because of the number of defendants involved in the charges.
Justice Baba-Yusuf, declining the motion for consolidation of the two charges said the trial would be made difficult for the court to manage if both charges are merged.
Dasuki had prayed the court to consolidate the two charges against him so as not to suffer double jeopardy.
He further held that the fear of double jeopardy was not substantiated because trials in the two charges had not fully started.
Justice Baba-Yusuf said that it is premature for the applicant to raise the issue of double jeopardy and abuse of court process more especially when there was no evidence pointing to that direction yet in the trial.
The judge also said the alleged offences which brought about the two charges were not committed in one transaction and that consolidation of the two charges would make the trial cumbersome because of the high number of defendants involved in the two charges.
He also said that the suggested consolidation, if granted, will work against accelerated trial of the two charges, which had earlier been granted by the court.
Dasuki who has been in detention after being granted multiple bails by courts, said that the Federal Government had engaged in gross abuse of court and legal process by instituting various criminal charges against him on just one issue of the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
In the motion argued by his lead counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), Dasuki said that it was wrong in law and even against natural justice for the government to prosecute him on two different charges on the same alleged arms fund diversion.
Others parties in the matter are former Director of Finance and Administration, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu; former General Manager, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Babakusa and two firms: Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
Source: The Guardian