By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki has got November 13 date at the Court of Appeal, for hearing of his suit seeking to stop the execution of invitation to him by a federal high court in Abuja to testify in the N400m corruption charges brought against the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Olisa Metuh.
The invitation (subpoena) was issued on him by Justice Okon Abang at the instance of Metuh.
Dasuki filed the appeal against the ruling of Justice Abang delivered on Wednesday which insisted that he (Dasuki) must appear in court to testify for the ex PDP spokesman.
His lead counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Ahmed Raji who confirmed the hearing date and the hearing notice to Judiciary Correspondents in Abuja said that his client had opted for Appeal Court to void the subpoena issued against him at the instance of Metuh.
The Senior Counsel said that the notice of appeal complaining against the ruling on the subpoena and praying for its nullification was filed on behalf of Dasuki at the appellate court.
“Like I said earlier, we obtained a copy of the ruling and we saw a lot of errors and mis-carriage of justice that needed to be challenged at the higher court”.
Our client who had been clamped into detention unlawfully since December 29, 2015 by the federal government has made it clear that he was not in the right frame of mind to go to any court to give evidence on any issue.
“For almost two years, he has had no access to documents, lawyers and even family members in spite of being admitted to bail by three high courts where the federal government brought charges against him.
“The ECOWAS Court of Justice gave judgment that he should be immediately released from the custody of the Department of the Security Service (DSS). It is over a year that the judgment was delivered and yet, the court order was not obeyed.
“In such a brazen affront to the judiciary, and the rule of law, Dasuki has made it clear that he is not in the right place to give evidence until the government resects the rule of law.
Justice Abang had on Wednesday struck out the application by Dasuki seeking to be discharged as a defence witness in the trial Metuh.
The former PDP spokesman and his company, Destra Investments Limited, are standing trial on a seven count charge of money laundering involving alleged cash transaction of $2 million and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for procurement of arms from Dasuki, when he was the NSA.
The court had on Tuesday adjourned at the instance of the first defendant (Metuh) for the subpoened witnesses, Dasuki and former President Goodluck Jonathan to be in court to testify for the former PDP spokesman.
Dasuki had, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) asked the court to vacate the subpoena issued on him to appear in court to testify for Metuh, until he is released from detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Raji had argued on Tuesday that Dasuki cannot be compelled to testify in favour of Metuh, adding that, as an accomplice, Dasuki cannot be made to stand as a witness for a co-accused person.
The senior counsel pleaded with the court to suspend the subpoena execution, pending Dasuki’s release from DSS custody, as the law cannot command what is impossible.
In a short ruling, Justice Abang, struck out Dasuki’s application seeking vacation of the subpoena on him for been incompetent and lacking in merit.
The Judge said the high court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain or review the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal.
According to Justice Abang, “From the argument of the applicant (Dasuki), it seems he is dissatisfied with the judgment of Court of Appeal, if this is so, he knows where to go, what to do, certainly not to come before this court.
“This is legal impossibility. This court has no jurisdiction. I agreed with the prosecution counsel who said it will be a judicial anarchy.
“This court is bound to follow the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal.
“Again, the applicant is not a party to this matter in the first instance. I have no jurisdiction to entertain the application on its merit.
“There is no lifpe in the application. It is incompetent and accordingly struck out”, “the court held.