From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Lawyers to former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) said, yesterday, the Federal Government did not offer their client any ‘conditional freedom’ to attend to his father and attend his burial, as well.
Against the backdrop of his father’s death, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the court adjourned is case to December 7, 2016.
It was a solemn moment at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as Dasuki’s trial, over alleged $2.1 billion fraud, was put off in honour of his late father, the 18th Sultan of Sokoto.
Although Dasuki was not in court, there was an agreement between the prosecution and defence counsel that the matter be adjourned.
They all agreed that it was not proper to proceed with the trial in view of the mood of the defendant.
Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji told newsmen his client was still mourning the sudden death of his father.
Raji disclosed that although the matter was not officially mentioned before the trial Judge, Justice Baba Yusuf , all lawyers involved in the matter felt that the period was not good for the trial and hence their joint agreement for an adjournment till December 7..
Apart from Dasuki, all other defendants in the matter comprising former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, former minister of state for Finance, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, Director of Finance and Supply in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Salisu Shuaibu and Alhaji Aminu Baba Kusa were in court.
The federal government had, on Tuesday, claimed that it granted permission to the detained ex-NSA to go Sokoto to mourn and pay the last respect to his father but that the offer was turned down on the ground that his detention was unwarranted, unlawful and unconstitutional and that he would prefer to pray for the sultan in custody. “As his counsel, we were not aware of that offer. Our client did not tell us anything of that nature. We would have expected that if such a gesture was going to be made to him, we, as his counsel, should have been involved so that we can advise him properly. As I speak to you, I am hearing of this for the first time.”
Raji said there was no basis for the continued detention of Dasuki by government having being granted bail by three different High Courts, in Abuja, on the charges against him as well as the order of the ECOWAS court for his unconditional release.
in the case for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to freedom of liberty.
He said “Dasuki has been granted three bails and one outright judgment for his release by the ECOWAS court which is binding on Nigeria.”
Raji said that Nigeria as a respected member of the ECOWAS community ought to have released Dasuki on the strength of the court judgment.