A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Tuesday issued a warrant on the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce before the court a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf gave the order following a request by the Prosecutor Oluwaleke Atolagbe who asked that the court grants an order to enable Retired Colonel Dasuki to appear in court to answer to charges against him by the Federal Government.
Dasuki, who is being tried alongside Aminu Kusa, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital, has been in detention of the State Security Service (SSS) since December 2015, despite about six court orders that granted him bails.
They were arraigned on 32 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 billion.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, the prosecutor told the court that he was ready to proceed with the trial as he has a witness who came all the way from Port Harcourt, but the absence of the 1st defendant in court remains a challenge.
Responding, the counsel to Dasuki, Victor Okwudili, maintained that the 1st defendant is in the custody of the prosecution and it behoves on the prosecution to produce him.
“I am not surprised that the prosecution is seeking an explanation for my client who is absent when he knows he is in the prosecution custody.
“And, it would be in a better place for the prosecution to explain to the court why they have not brought the first defendant to court,” he said.
He added that he wanted the court to bring the defendant to court and that it was within the power of the judge to give an order for that to happen.
“Your lord can use it in two ways, one is the issuance of production warrant but that is only done when the man is in wilful custody. It is not available now, because nobody signed him in.
“The other one is the issuance of a bench warrant and that is where the man is on the run to escape justice.
“Again, it is not available now because the man is not on the run, he is with the state.”
In a short ruling, the judge, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, upheld that that first defendant is in the custody of the DSS saying it is the responsibility of the prosecution to work with the DSS to facilitate the presence of Dasuki in court.
He, therefore, issued a production warrant and adjourned to May 24, for the continuation of trial.