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S’Court orders accelerated hearing of Dasuki’s trial, dismisses ex-NSA’s appeals

S’Court orders accelerated hearing of Dasuki’s trial, dismisses ex-NSA’s appeals

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Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja to give an accelerated hearing to the trial of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Dasuki and others before the FCT High Court on charges bordering on alleged diversion of multi-billion naira funds earmarked for the purchase of arms meant to be used to fight the insurgency in the North-East.

The five-man panel of the apex court headed by Justice Dattijo Muhammad noted in a judgment on two separate appeals by Dasuki, on Friday, that the trial initiated in 2015 had been frustrated at the FCT High Court by various interlocutory applications and appeals.

The five Justices on the apex court’s panel unanimously gave the order for accelerated hearing of the trial after dismissing Dasuki’s two appeals on Friday.

The ex-NSA’s appeals had sought an order putting on hold his trial until he is released from “unlawful” detention by the Department of State Services.

Dasuki had appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgments of June 15, 2016, of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which had affirmed the earlier separate rulings of the FCT High Court.

Justice Ejembi Eko, who prepared and read the lead judgment of the Supreme Court on Friday, affirmed the concurrent findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeal.

The apex court, agreeing with EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), ruled that Dasuki’s appeals lacked in merit and were fraught with the ulterior motive of frustrating his trial.

Justice Eko dismissed the appeal as an abuse of court process, adding that the ex-NSA merely used fair hearing as his “weeping principle to filibuster all the way to this court.”

He said, “I have considered all the issues in the appeal. An appeal brought not bonafide but merely to delay a pending action or to gag other prospective actions is clearly an abused process. Regarding so, it is clearly an abuse of court process.

“The appeal lacking in merit, being clearly an abuse of court process, is hereby dismissed in its entirety. The case is remitted to the learned trial judge, Honourable Justice H.B Yusuf of the FCT High Court for hearing with a further directive that it shall be given an accelerated hearing.”

Other members of the panel, Justices Dattijo Muhammad (presiding), John Okoro; Centus Nweze and Amina Augie, agreed with the lead judgment.

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