The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has filed fresh charges against Col. Sambo Dasuki(retd), former National Security Adviser, who is alleged of criminal diversion of funds to the tune of $2.1billion. The money was part of funds earmarked by the Federal Government to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
According to Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to the EFCC, the charge was amended to remove the second defendant and also to bring up fresh charges against the other defendants. With the amendment, the initial counts of 19 preferred against the defendants have increased to 32.
Dasuki is facing trial alongside Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State; his son, Sagir Bafarawa; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda as well as Sagir’s firm, Dalhatu Investment.
Other defendants in the matter had frantically sought to be separately tried, to ensure speedy determination of their cases, but eventually lost the bid at the Supreme Court on March 2, 2018, which decision ordered accelerated hearing, instead. Consequently, the trial court, presided over by Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, fixed April 13, for a pre-trial conference, in other to ensure effective management of the two separate charges against Dasuki and other defendants.
At the resumed sitting today, Jacobs informed the court about the outcome of the conference and also told the court about the amended charge, urging the court to accept it. His words: “In line with your Lordship’s directive, we held the conference, except that the senior counsels for the defendants were not there. They sent their juniors to represent them.
“My Lord, their attitude is to oppose everything we seek to tender. We have served them the additional documents and we have also filed an amended charge dated and filed April 30, 2018. I urge my Lord to accept the amended charge and allow it”