Court re-arraigns Dasuki over alleged diversion of arms funds
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja yesterday re-arraigned former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), over alleged diversion of $2.1 billion arms funds and was also granted bail. He was arraigned on 32 counts amended charges along with Aminu Baba Kusa, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital, but they, however, pleaded not guilty on all 32 counts.
Former Director of Finance and Supply in the NSA Office, Salisu Shuaib, was however, dropped from the amended charges.Besides, the charges were similar to the previous 18 count charges brought against the defendants by the Federal Government in 2015.
Shortly after taking the plea of the defendants, the issue of bail was raised and Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Adeola Adedekpe, pleaded with the court to grant the defendants bail on liberal terms in view of the fact that they had been attending trial since 2015.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, did not oppose the bail application.Consequently, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf ordered that Dasuki and the other defendants be allowed to continue to enjoy the bail he granted them in 2015 when they were first arraigned before the court.
Meanwhile, Justice Yusuf fixed July 3 and July 5, 2018 for trial of the defendants in the new charges.The Federal Government had on April 30 filled 32 amended count charges to replace the initial 18 count charges brought against the defendants in 2015 before the court.
In the amended charges coming barely one year to the general elections, names of prominent politicians from the opposition party were listed as beneficiaries of the diverted funds.Apart from filing new charges with fresh names, government also introduced a new twist to the trial as Shuaib was dropped from the new charges.Director of Legal Services with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chile Okoroma, signed the amended charges
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