THE absence of ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki in the alleged corruption case against him and five others stalled trial yesterday.
Department of State Services (DSS), which is detaining Dasuki, only brought the ex-NSA to court 30 minutes after the case was adjourned.
Dasuki; ex-Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda; ex-Finance director at the Office of the NSA Shuaibu Salisu, ex-Governor of Sokoto State Attahiru Bafarawa; his son Sagir; and their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, are being tried for allegedly stealing N9.2 billion from the Office of the NSA.
They were arraigned late last year before Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja, on a 22-count filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Trial was expected to commence yesterday, but proceedings were stalled owing to the absence of the second defendant (Dasuki) in court.
Yesterday, Dasuki’s lawyer Joseph Daudu (SAN) noted that his client was not in court, prompting the court to enquire from prosecution lawyer Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) why the ex-NSA was absent.
Jacobs said he was surprised Dasuki was not in court. He said his witnesses were ready for trial.
He said the DSS, and was assured Dasuki would be produced in court later.
Jacobs applied for a stand-down of proceedings, to allow the DSS produce the 2nd defendant, an application the defence objected to.
The defence team, including Daudu, Olajide Ayodele (SAN), Akin Olujinmi (SAN), J. O. Olatoke (SAN), Joshua Olatoke (SAN) and Hakeem Afolabi (SAN), argued that it was wrong for Jacob to seek a stand-down without indicating how long.
Daudu also told the court the trial might not have held had Dasuki been in court following a pending motion by his client.
By the consent of all lawyers, the judge adjourned the case to October 21.