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Arms Deal: Court Declines Dasuki’s Request To Invite ‘Amicus Curiae’

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Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court yesterday declined to grant prayers of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), seeking the intervention of ‘friends of the Court’ (Amicus Curiae) to speak on his continuous detention despite multiple bail orders.

Amici Curiae is a Latin phrase that means ‘friends of the court’ who are expected to  give informed suggestions to the court in a matter when the court is confused.

Dasuki and four others are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged criminal breach of trust and money laundering charges amongst others. Dasuki has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since 2015, despite court orders granting him bail.

Dissatisfied with the handling of his trial in the last three years, thereby sought the leave of the Court to invite Amicus Curiae.

Counsel to Dasuki, Adeola Adedipe informed the court that he filed a motion seeking leave of Court to call for stakeholders in law to intervention in this matter.

The motion was filed on 9thJanuary,  2019. Adedipe explained that amicus curiae would enable all to have a robust deliberation and cited section 1 of The Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015.

Eminent Senior Advocates of Nigeria to make up for the amicus curiae according to him were, Femi Falana (SAN) , Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) in his response noted that the principle of Amicus Curiae arises only where there are issues that the court cannot handle within the law.

“ It is at the discretion of the Court to appoint Amicus Curiae if it deems it necessary,  in this case the 2nd defendant (Dasuki ) had not made out a case for amicus.

Baba-Yussuf in a ruling on declined to grant Dasuki’s request on the grounds that the application did not meet with the conditions for the order of amicus curiae sought.

The Judge accordingly dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

Others being prosecuted alongside Dasuki in the 25 count criminal charge include, a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuhuda, a former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa,  Bafarawa’s son, Sagir and a firm, Dalhatu Investment Limited.

They are standing trial for alleged misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N19. 4bn

Meanwhile, Justice Baba-Yusuf, in a related matter fixed 27th February for ruling in the application by Dasuki  asking for adjournment sine die pending when the judgment of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 218 to be complied with.

Defendants in the sister suit are Dasuki, a former NNPC Executive Director, Aminu Baba-Kusa, and two firms- Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital.

They  standing trial on a 32 charges bordering on criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and dishonest release and receiving of various sums of money to the tune of N33.3 bn.

Adedipe prayed for  the order of the court to adjourn the matters sine die pending when the judgment of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court Abuja on July 2, 218 to be complied with.

“We are not asking for an adjournment but that the judgments granted Dasuki be complied with by the prosecution,” he stated.

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