The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed a motion by the detained immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), seeking an order to suspend and adjourn indefinitely his trial on charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
In his ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that Dasuki’s application, founded on a non-existing reference of a question of law to the Court of Appeal for determination and with a likely effect of staying the proceedings in the trial, was misconceived and lacked merit.
Dasuki’s counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), had, at the hearing of his client’s motion on October 17, asked the court to adjourn the trial indefinitely pending the hearing and determination of the ex-NSA’s motion for stay of proceedings filed before the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
Raji contended that his client’s motion was not seeking an order of stay of proceedings, which had been barred by Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, but said that the application was filed under the provision of Section 305 of the ACJA, which, he argued, allowed the court to adjourn a trial after a constitutional question arising from the trial had been referred to a higher court for determination.
Raji argued that his client’s appeal, filed by his client against the ruling delivered by Justice Mohammed on June 15, 2017, permitting the prosecution’s witnesses to testify behind screen, was a form of reference of a constitutional question to the Court of Appeal.
The lawyer noted that his client had filed before the Court of Appeal, a motion for stay of proceedings of the trial, adding that once such motion was pending before a higher court, “the lower court is to tarry awhile to await the decisions of the higher court on the pending motion.”
Opposing the application, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), described the application as “an abuse of court process.”