By Clement A. Oloyede
The Federal Government has filed an amended 32-count charge of fraud against former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki.
A former finance director in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu, who was the second defendant in the earlier 19-count charge, has been dropped from the amended charge.
Sources confirmed to Daily Trust that Salisu has now been billed to testify against Dasuki as a prosecution witness.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told an FCT High Court in Maitama that in line with the court’s directives; a conference was held on April 13 to address all issues that may come up during the trial.
He added that the attitude of Dasuki’s counsels was that they will oppose every document tendered by the prosecution during the trial.
Jacobs said this attitude made the prosecution to change its strategy. He added that while the amended 32-count charge was filed and served on all defendants in the suit on April 30, the major reason for the amendment was because the name of the second defendant (Salisu) was removed and additional counts were added to make it 32 counts.
In a copy of the amended charge cited by our reporter, among the new counts added to the charge was the allegation of the payment of N850million by Dasuki in the build-up to 2015 general elections to the present chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus. Also, the payment of N400million by Dasuki to former PDP publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh was captured in another count.
Notably, one of the counts alleged that Dasuki paid the sum of N4.6billion to a company – Syvan Mcmanara – for PDP’s pursuit of the gubernatorial elections in Osun and Ekiti states in 2014. Other new counts also alleged that Dasuki made fraudulent payments of N825million to a company named Little Italy as well as N2.5billion and $12million to another company named Bob Oshodin Organisation.
Dasuki has also been charged of making fraudulent payments of a total of N1.1billion to former Accountant-General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla, through a company, and another N635million and $2million to two other companies.
Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, however adjourned the matter to May 16 for plea to be taken as Dasuki and former General Manager of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-Kusa with two other companies charged along with them pleaded for more time to study the amended charge.