The Federal High Court of Nigeria (FHCN), Wednesday denied granting N250 million bail to the ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others named in the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
Acting Chief Registrar, Emmanuel Garko, stated that authorities of the Court could not have granted bail to any of those being tried in relation to the arms deal because none of them was charged before the court.
Garko said the clarification became imperative in view of misrepresentation in the media that the Federal High Court granted bail to Dasuki and others at N250million each.
He said: “It will be in the interest of the reporters and editors (the media) to note that these cases involving the accused persons are not all before the Federal High Court of Nigeria as reported by some national dailies, but before Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the FCT.”
Explaining that the Federal High Court of Nigeria is different from the High Court of FCT, which has their respective jurisdiction, Garko appealed to the media to always cross check facts before publication.
Dasuki is currently involved in three criminal cases pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja and the High Court of the Federal Capital territory (FCT), Maitama, Abuja.
Dasuki is being tried alone on a five-count charge of money laundering involving about N84.6m and illegal possession of firearms before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The judge on November 3 granted the ex-NSA bail on the charges.
The bail was, however, scuttled by the DSS the next day (November 4), as they laid siege on his Asokoro Residence and placed him under house arrest.
The second case involves Dasuki, an ex-Director of Finance and Administration in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu and former Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-Kusa in a 19 count-charge bordering on criminal diversion of funds.
Dasuki, Salisu, Baba-Kusa and two companies – Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited were charged with conspiracy and criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code Act and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act.
The trial judge, Justice Baba-Yusuf admitted each of them to bail in a ruling on December 18 at N250m with one surety and adjourned to January 21 for commencement of trial.
In the third case, Dasuki is being tried with former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, his son and firm – Sagir Attahiru and Dalhatu Investment Limited – and former Director of Finance and Administration in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu.
All five facing a 22-count criminal charge bordering on allegations of diversion, misappropriation and breach of trust in respect of N19.4 billion, were granted bail by Justice Peter Affen.
Justice Affen in his ruling which mirrored that of the Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, which last week had granted Dasuki and four others bail, on the 19-count money laundering charges to the tune of N13 billion.
The judge also rehearsed the conditions for bail given by the higher court.