Jacobs, Balogun trade blame on Dasuki’s absence in court
The trial of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, was stalled yesterday as the Department of State Security Service (DSS), failed to produce him before the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
At the resumed hearing, Counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs, informed Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf, that the defendant refused to come to court on the ground that his lawyers, Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji would not be in court.
Jacobs told the court that he persuaded the defendant to come to court to see how the proceedings would go but he declined.
He therefore asked the court to commence trial in the absence of the defendant since the court had scheduled trial to begin.
Jacobs also told the court that an operative of DSS told him that counsel to the defendant have never made any attempt to visit DSS Office to see their client who has been in their custody since December last year.
Jacobs alleged that the refusal of the defendant to come to court was a ploy to scuttle the trial.
But Jacobs was opposed by one of the counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Wale Balogun, who urged Justice Baba Yusuf to disregard the claim, stressing that it was the officers of DSS who have denied counsel to the defendant access to their client in their custody.
Balogun stated that the claim by Jacobs that an operative of DSS told him (Jacobs) that Dasuki’s lawyers never made attempt to see him in custody was baseless and unwarranted because he was quoting a third-party.
Dasuki’s lawyer said that on the contrary, it was the DSS and the prosecution counsel that have continued to scuttle the trial by their deliberate refusal to produce the defendant who has been in their custody since last year, in court.
The counsel claimed that Jacobs, as the prosecution counsel cannot give evidence from the bar on why the defendant was not brought to court. According to him, it was expected of him to have filed an affidavit evidence to explain to the court why the defendant was not in court.
Balogun stood his ground that the accused cannot be tried in his absence and without access to his lawyers to prepare effective defence. He added that the prosecution would continue to bungle the trial until they resolve to obey the rule of law and take necessary steps as enshrined in the Constitution.
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