Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday ordered the release of the passport of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf at Maitama, made the order to enable the ex-NSA to renew the expired passport and secure visa to travel abroad for medical consultation.
Dasuki had deposited the passport in the registry of the court as part of the conditions of the bail granted him by the court in December 2015.
He and others are being prosecuted before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in respect of two sets of charges in which he and his co-defendants were accused of diverting funds meant for procurement of arms to be used to fight insurgency in the North-East.
Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), argued the application seeking the release of the passport, on Wednesday.
The prayer for the release of the passport as contained in the application filed on February 11 was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe.
Atolagbe however opposed the second prayer seeking an order permitting the defendant to travel abroad.
The second prayer opposed by the prosecution was then withdrawn by the defence lawyer.
Ruling, Justice Baba-Yusuf granted an order for the release of the passport, which was not opposed by the prosecution.
The judge noted that it would be premature to grant Dasuki’s request to travel abroad when he had yet to renew his passport.
The EFCC also withdrew two applications seeking an order of court directing the two pending cases to continue regardless of whether Dasuki was present in court or not.
The commission had filed the application after he wrote a letter to inform the court that he would no longer attend court until he was released from the illegal custody of the Department of State Services which detained him for about four years in disregard of the bail granted him by different courts.
The judge struck out the applications which were said to have been overtaken by the event of Dasuki’s release from custody on the 2019 Christmas Eve.
The court fixed March 13 for trial.