A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Abuja yesterday ordered the federal government to grant former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, access to his lawyer during working hours to enable him properly defend himself in the charges brought against him by government.
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf gave the order following the application by Mr. Dasuki’s lead counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) that he and other lawyers in the former NSA’s legal team had no access to their client.
Mr. Daudu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had told the court that because they had no access to Dasuki, they could not get enough information for his defence.
Mr. Dasuki, Shuaibu Salisu, former Director of Finance, Office of the NSA and Aminu Baba-Kusa, former NNPC Executive Director, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for diversion of N13.6 billion meant for purchase of arms and ammunition for the Nigerian military.
The other defendants were Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
At the resumed hearing Wednesday, Adebisi Adeniyi, who held brief for lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court that his team was ready with its witnesses.
Mr. Dasuki’s counsel, Mr. Daudu objected and applied for long adjournment because the defence had no access to the former NSA and had an application before the Court of Appeal.
Daudu said the application before the appellate court was for stay of proceedings.
But the prosecution counsel opposed the application for longer adjournment and prayed the court not to grant Mr. Daudu’s application.
Mr. Adeniyi reminded the court that the Department of State Services said it never received any request for access from quarters.
He further said there was no concrete evidence before the court on why such application should be granted.
After listening to the counsel, Justice Baba-Yusuf ordered that Mr. Dauski should be made available to his lawyers to enable them get information from him that would aid them in his defence.
The court adjourned the case till May 3, 2016 for continuation of hearing.