*Trial stalled as Court adjourns till today
By Toyin Akinfolajimi
Again, the trial of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) over alleged N19B fraud before an Abuja High Court on Tuesday was stalled due to the failure of the Federal Government to produce the defendant in court.
At the resumed trial, the judge and counsel had waited for over three hours before the matter was adjourned when the defendant did not come.
Posecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob SAN told the trial judge, Justice Baba Yusuf that he was surprised that the former NSA was not within the court premises for the continuation of his trial but however declined to give reasons why the defendant was not produced.
He however applied that the case be stood down for another one hour to enable him make contact with the agency responsible for Dasuki’s detention.
However, counsel to Dasuki, J.B Daudu SAN informed Justice Baba Yusuf that the statement of Jacob was not helpful to the court and demanded to know the whereabouts of his client.
Daudu informed the court that he is apprehensive on the whereabouts of his client who has been in the custody of the DSS since 2015, adding that the only person who can authoritatively inform the court on whereabouts of the Ex-NSA is the prosecution counsel.
Another counsel in the matter,Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN submitted that there was no need for Dasuki trial to be stood down for another hour since the prosecution could not state categorically whether the defendant would be brought to court or not.
Olujimi said that the trial which ought to have commenced by 9am was delayed to 11 am, adding that it would be unfair for the lawyers and the court to be kept waiting endlessly, more so when there is no certainty in sight.
Other lawyers in the matter agreed that the case be put off till another date.
Justice Baba Yusuf in his brief comment said that Jacobs as the leader of the prosecuting team ought to have known ahead on whether the defendant would be produced in court or not by the DSS.
The Judge said that it would be decent when categorical information is obtained on whether the defendant would be available for trial or not so that the precious time of the court would not be wasted in waiting endlessly.
The Judge, however gave the Federal Government till today to produce Dasuki in court for the continuation of the trial and that the prosecution should do the needful to assist the court with the presence of the defendant in court.