In a swift rebuttal on Wednesday, authorities of the Federal High Court of Nigeria (FHCN), dissociated the court from media reports it granted bail to the tune of N250 million to the embattled immediate-past National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (reted) and others being tried in relation to the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
Acting Chief Registrar of the FHCN, 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.
In a statement issued by Garko, he 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 however, urged the media to be cautious in their operations and always endeavour to cross check facts before publication.
However, recall that Dasuki and others were only granted bail on two occasions on December 18 and 21 last year at N250million by Justices Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
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 second case involving Dasuki is that in which he is being tried with 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 toJanuary 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 in a 22-count charge of alleged diversion of over 20billion.
Justice Affen, on December 21 last year, granted bail to each of them at N250m with two sureties and fixed February 2 for commencement of trial.