The Federal High Court, Abuja, has asked the Federal Government to proceed with the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki, should his counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), fails to appear in court at the next adjourned date.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed R. Mohammed gave the go-ahead Thursday to the prosecution counsel, Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), after he objected to a letter written to the court by Daudu, praying for an adjournment.
Dasuki is standing trial on alleged illegal possession of firearms and money laundering, and at the resumed trial yesterday, he was seen seated in court but his lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN) was absent.
Rather, the court registrar read out a letter submitted by Joseph Daudu’s chambers, informing the court that he (Daudu) was attending the Body of Benchers’ meeting at the Supreme Court.
He, therefore, prayed the court to adjourned the matter to enable him to appear at the next adjourned date.
Meanwhile, this development did not go down well with the prosecution counsel, Okpeseyi, as he informed the court that even though he has been served with the letter from the defence counsel, it was pregnant with unanswered questions.
He said: “As innocent as the letter looks, it is pregnant because this letter is asking the court to decide whether the rights and privileges of a citizen with the authority of the court are subservient to that of the Body of Benchers.
“Whichever way the court resolves the issue, we are bound by the decision of the court.
“On our part, we are ready. Our witnesses are also here in court. The Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) has specified time and period for adjournment.
“If the defence counsel fails to appear in court at the next sitting, the court is at liberty to proceed with the case.”
The Judge thereafter adjourned the matter till February 9 and 10 for the defence to be ready or the prosecution to go ahead with the trial.
Recalled that Daudu had also failed to appear on January 18, without giving any cogent reason for his absence in court.
Meanwhile, the prosecution said it has prepared its witnesses to testify against the defendant.
Dasuki was arraigned in December 2015 on a five count charge bordering on illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
08 February, 2018