The prosecution of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), in the alleged $2.1billion arms deal was stalled at the Abuja High Court due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf.
Dasuki has remained in detention since November 2015 when he was arrested with the government refusing to release him on bails granted him by four different High Courts and the order of release by ECOWAS Court.
The federal government which is prosecuting him in the alleged deal also failed to produce him yesterday in court as at the time the trial was shifted to September 27, 2017 by lawyers in the matters.
Other defendants in the alleged corruption case 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 who were present in court.
However, the trial could not proceed as Justice Baba-Yusuf was said to have gone outside Abuja on an assignment.
Although the court clerks declined comments, it was learnt that the judge was 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.
Eminent lawyers in the high profile case including Chief Olajide Ayodele, SAN, Dr. Kayode Olatoke, SAN and Mr. Akeem Afolabi, SAN, among others left the court room around 11a.m. when information filtered to them that the trial will not proceed.
However, after consultation with each other, the lawyers and the court officials shifted the prosecution till September 27 due to the coming yearly vacation of the court scheduled to begin on July 10 and terminate in the middle of September.
Apart from the lawyers, family members, associates and sympathisers of the ex-NSA who had stormed the court as early as 8a.m left unfulfilled due to the inability of government to bring Dasuki to court from the custody of Department of the State Services (DSS) where he had been kept since December 2015.