From Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
There seems no end to the drama of the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) in the alleged $2.1B arms deal. It was stalled at the Abuja High Court, again. This time, the trial Judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf, was absent.
To pep up the Thursday’s disappointment, Dasuki was, again, not brought to court by his prosecutors, the government.
Putting heads together, the lawyers and court officials agreed on a shift to September 27.
Other defendants in the alleged corruption case, with disappointment written on their faces, as always, were in court, with family and associates. They included a former Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda, former Sokoto State governor Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, his son sagir Bafarawa, former Director of Finance in the office of the NSA Salisu Shuaibu and Dalhatu Investment Ltd.
Justice Baba-Yusuf was said to have gone outside Abuja on an assignment.
He may have been part of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary delegation attending the burial ceremony of Justice Victoria Ayodele Uzo-Amaka Onejeme, a pioneer Judge of the Abuja High court who died recently.
Sympathizers of the ex NSA who came to the court as early as 8 a.m. but could not set eyes on him due to the inability of government to bring Dasuki to court from the custody of the Department of the State Service (DSS) where he had been kept since December 2015.
The Federal government had on January 24 re-arraigned Dasuki and other defendants on 22-count charges in the case due to the transfer of the charge from Justice Peter Affen to Baba-Yusuf.
The defendants were accused of breach of trust, money laundering, and diversion of public funds since 2015 when they were first arraigned in court.
While the bail granted other defendants was obeyed by the federal government, Dasuki’s was not as he was re-arrested on December 29, 2015 at Kuje Prison shortly after he perfected bail conditions and has since remained in the custody of the DSS.