Monday, June 14, 2021

Merge cases against me into one, Dasuki begs court


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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By Nazifi Haruna

A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has sought the consolidation of cases against him as trial in the alleged N2billion public fund diversion involving Acacia Holding and Reliance Reference Hospital Limited began.

Mr Dasuki is standing trial alongside four others before Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court for alleged money laundering and breach of trust.

The trial was opened with the lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN), calling his first witness, Adariko Michael.

The witness, who is an operative of the EFCC, testified that the anti-graft agency investigated the office of the NSA in September 2015 based on a petition on alleged abuse of office and money laundering.

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Mr Michael said the commission went into action the same day by writing letters to the CBN, requesting information on the movement of funds from the office of the NSA account to various companies.

He further informed 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 further testified that the funds were transferred in three tranches of N600 million, N650 million and N750 million into the account of the companies with UBA, Ecobank and First Bank Plc.

The EFCC operative further told the court that letters were written to the three banks and responses confirming transfer of the funds were also received.

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He also informed the court that a letter written to the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, confirmed one Aminu Baba-Kusa as the owner and the sponsor of Acacia holding Limited and that the said company owner was invited and made voluntary useful statement to the EFCC.

All the documents relating to the transactions that led to the trial were tendered by the prosecution and admitted as exhibits by the judge.

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Counsel to Mr Dasuki, Ahmed Raji SAN had informed the court of his intention to file a motion for consolidation of the two charges brought against his client by the federal government in the same court.

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Mr Raji said it was in the interest of justice and effective case management that the charges be merged since they emanated from the same office of the NSA under the headship of his client.

Although the prosecution counsel objected to the indication of the merger but the judge said the two parties should allow the motion to be filed properly before argument can be canvassed on the merit or otherwise of the consolidation request.

Meanwhile further trial has been adjourned till March 16 and 17.

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