Dasuki insists on consolidation of cases as trial over fund transfer begins
• Court adjourns N7b suit against Suswam indefinitely
The trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki and four others in the alleged money laundering and breach of trust charges which began yesterday has been adjourned to March 16 and 17, 2017.
Justice Baba Yusuf of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, yesterday, adjourned the matter for continuation of trial in the alleged N2bn public fund diversion involving Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN), at the commencement of the trial called his first witness, Mr. Adariko Michael, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The witness in his testimony informed the court that the anti-graft agency investigated the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in September 2015 based on a petition received alleging abuse of office and money laundering.
He further informed that the agency went into action the same day by writing letters to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), requesting information on the movement of funds from the ONSA account to various companies.
He told the court that the response from the CBN indicated that funds were moved from the ONSA’s bank account domiciled at CBN to two companies, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Reference Hospital Limited.
The witness also testified that the funds were transferred in three tranches of N600m, N650m and N750m into the account of the companies with UBA, Ecobank and First Bank Plc.
The EFCC operative further told Justice Baba Yusuf that letters were written to the three banks and the responses confirming transfer of the funds were also received from them.
All the documents relating to the transactions that led to the trial were tendered by the prosecution and admitted as exhibits by the judge.
Counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), then informed Justice Baba Yusuf of his intention to file a motion for consolidation of the two charges brought against his client by the Federal Government in the same FCT court.
Raji informed Justice Yusuf that it is in the interest of justice and effective case management that the charges must be merged since they emanated from the same office of the NSA under the headship of his client.
The prosecution counsel though objected to the indication of the merger but the Judge said that the two parties should allow the motion to be filed properly before arguments can be canvassed on the merit or otherwise of the consolidation request.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has slammed fresh N7 billion criminal charges against the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, former Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Omodachi Okolobia and one Janet Aluga.
The Federal government in two separate charges accused the defendants of conspiring to launder the sum of N7 billion during their service as officers of in the state.
They were also accused of diverting N450 million belonging to the state.
When the matter came up for mention yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, the judge after listening to both parties, adjourned the matter indefinitely.
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