Court Declines Dasuki’s Request for Intervention of ‘Friends of the Court’ in Trial

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Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)

By Alex Enumah in Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja, has refused to grant the prayers of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), seeking the intervention of ‘friends of the Court’ (Amicus Curiae) In his trial.

Dasuki and four others are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges amongst others.

Dasuki, not satisfied with the manner his trial had gone in the last three years, particularly, the refusal of the Federal government (prosecution) to obey orders of courts regarding his bail had applied for a leave of the Court to call Amicus Curiae to intervene.

However, presiding Judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, in a ruling on Tuesday declined to grant Dasuki’s request on the grounds that the application did not meet with the conditions for the order of amicus curiae sought.

Justice Baba-Yusuf accordingly dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

Others being prosecuted alondside Dasuki in the 25 count criminal charge include, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa;

Bafarawa’s son, Sagir, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment Limited.

They are accused of misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N19. 4bn.

However, Justice Baba-Yusuf, in a sister case, has fixed Feb. 27 for ruling in the application by Dasuki asking for adjournment sine die pending when the judgment of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 2o18 is complied with.

Defendants in the sister suit are Dasuki, a former NNPC Executive Director, Aminu Baba-Kusa, and two firms- Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital.

They are arriagned on 32 charges bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 bn.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, Dasuki’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, informed the court that he filed a motion seeking leave of Court to call for stakeholders in law to intervene in this matter. The motion he said was filed on January 9, 2019.

In Adedipe’s words, “An unusual situation calls for unusual condition”.

He said the amicus curiae would enable all to have a robust deliberation and cited section 1 of The Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015.

Eminent Senior Advocates of Nigeria to make up for the amicus curiae according to him are, Femi Falana, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu and Olisa Agbakoba.

” We are not asking for an adjournment but that the judgments granted Dasuki be complied with by the prosecution”, he submitted.

Adedipe prayed for the order of the court to adjourn the matters sine die pending when the judgment of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 2018 is complied with.

Responding, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, who was asked whether Amicus Curiae should be invited to intervene, submitted that the principle of Amicus Curiae arises only where there are issues that the court cannot handle within the law.

“It is at the discretion of the Court to appoint Amicus Curiae if it deems it necessary, in this case, the 2nd defendant (Dasuki) had not made out a case for amicus.

“The issue here is adjournment sine die as provided in section 306 of ACJA” he said.