Former Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice,Akin Olujimi, SAN, has strongly criticised the federal government over its handling of the corruption trial involving former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, after the Department of State Services, DSS, failed again to produce him in court on Wednesday.
Olujimi made his feelings known at the FCT High Court, accusing the government of deliberately trying to frustrate the trial of the former NSA.
The former AGF said it was irritating and disappointing that the government has persistently and consistently refused to produce Dasuki in Court despite the fact that he had been granted bail by four different judges as well as the ECOWAS court, which also awarded a N15 million fine against the federal government.
It would be recalled that the DSS also failed to produce Dasuki on Tuesday to face his trial, forcing the trial judge, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, to adjourn the hearing to Wednesday.
Olujimi, who is representing the second accused person, Salisu Shuaib, a former Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser, pointed out that his client has always attended court proceedings only for each hearing to be called off.
“I find it irritating for somebody to tell a prosecutor that the failure to produce a defendant in a criminal matter is an oversight,” he said.
“It is absurd and there is need (for the DSS) to keep record of day to day trial of the defendant in order to allow him to defend himself in the criminal charges brought against him.
“No one should foist a state of hopelessness on the court but I urged the court to order that those keeping Dasuki should ensure that they are alive to their responsibility of producing him in the next adjourned day.”
Counsel to the federal government, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the presiding judge that he had made attempts to reach the authority of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to liaise with the authority of the DSS to produce the former NSA in court.
Jacobs said the only response he received after the EFCC had linked up with DSS was that the defendant would not be brought to court.
Dasuki’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu expressed shock over the development adding that perhaps the issue of inter-agency rivalry was at play again between the EFCC and the DSS.
In a short ruling, Justice Baba-Yusuf admitted that the prosecution counsel had always been passionate to have the trial conducted but that his dilemma emanated from the fact that he is not in control of the defendant.
The Judge however directed Jacobs to pass the message to his clients that there is the need for them to produce Dasuki in court as required by law.He subsequently adjourned the case to July 11 and 12, 2017.