Trial of a former security adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dauski, was again stalled on Tuesday at the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, following the inability of the prosecution to produce him.
Dauski, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Aminu Baba-Kusa, a former NNPC Executive Director.
The others were Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited, were being tried for alleged diversion of N13.6 billion meant for arms purchase.
At the last sitting, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf had ordered that the prosecution should allow Dauski’s lawyers’ access to him following an application made by his counsel Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN).
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr Leke Afolabi, who held brief for Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court that the prosecution was having challenges producing Dauski.
Afolabi also informed the court that Jacobs had matter at the Court of Appeal, and prayed the court for a stand down to enable them sort out the challenges.
Mr Tunde Falola, who held brief for Daudu did not object to the application for stand down.
Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) counsel for the 2nd defendant told the court that since the prosecution did not have enough information about Dasuki, he should ask for an adjournment instead.
Olujimi said the prosecution did not have information whether Dasuki could still be produced in court and when, and that if the court grants an adjournment let it be with stern warning.
Mr Solomon Umoh (SAN), counsel for the 3rd defendant told the court that if the prosecution was right that the issuances of bench warrant on Dasuki would have been the right thing.
Umoh said that as it stood now the failure came from the prosecution and that he could not ask the court to dismiss the defendants because Olujimi who spoke before him already opted for an adjournment.
Counsel for the 4th and 5th defendants, Mr Babajide Lawal and Mr Olajide Ayodele, also aligned with the Senior Advocates.
Sequel to the submissions by all the counsel Baba-Yusuf adjourned the case till May 23.
“It is only in few exceptions that a trial can go on in the absence of a defendant and it is the responsibility of the prosecution to produce the defendant in court.
“I want to divert my mind to the previous conduct of the prosecution and will grant an adjournment till May 23 to enable the prosecution sort out their challenges. (NAN)