The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). at the Federal High Court, Abuja was wednesday stalled over Dasuki’s absence in court.
Dasuki is standing trial on allegations of money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
Also not present in court was Dasuki’s lead counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN).
When the matter came up yesterday for trial, Adeola Adedipe, who held brief for Daudu, informed the court that the lead defence counsel had already written the court asking for adjournment.
He, however, did not give reason for Dasuki’s absence.
Prosecution counsel, Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), responding, queried the absence of Dasuki, stressing that the defendant ought to be in court so that the trial can go on.
While expressing concern that the defence counsel did not give any reason for Dasuki’s, absence in court, Okpeseyi said two of the prosecution witnesses invited from Maiduguri were present in court.
He further reminded the court that the trial which started in 2015 has not progressed beyond the arraignment.
Adedipe, responding, said it was not to his knowledge that the defendant will not be in court.
“The defendant absence in court is the failure of prosecutor or the complainant to produce the defendant who is in its custody in court”, he said.
Consequently, trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, adjourned the matter to February 8, for trial.
The federal government, had in March last year, arraigned Dasuki before Justice Mohammed over alleged laundering of $190,000 and N42million, including illegal possession of firearms.
Dasuki was first arraigned on a five count charge on September 1, 2015 before Justice Adeniyi Ademola who has retired last year, but the charges were later amended to seven.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail but has remained in custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) since 2015.