FG opposes bail for Dasuki, Yuguda, Bafarawa and others

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Fearing that the freedom of Former National Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and others being tried for the alleged diversion of arms deal could jeopardise the case against him, the Federal Government has in strong terms, opposed their bail applications.

Others standing trial with Dasuki are the former minister of state for finance, Bashir Yuguda, former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Bafarawa and the former director of finance office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu.

The defendants are facing trial on a 22 count charge bordering on misappropriation and dishonestly entrusting themselves dominion over properties worth N19billion, and had filed for bail before the court, having been in the custody of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC).

Rotimi Jacob, counsel to federal government at the hearing on their bail application at the Justice Peter Affem’s High Court, insisted that if the defendants were granted bail, it they could jeopardize the witness in the substantial investigation into the charge.

At the hearing of the bail, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN argued that it was not speculative for the court to consider the nature of the case and the evidence available, as such the court was entitled to first consider the proof of evidence against the defendants/applicants to determine if they will not jump bail, if they are eventually granted.

Citing Section 261, Jacobs further argued in strong terms that even if the defendants reported for investigation by themselves, they have the proof of evidence against them, which makes case for a great receptiveness for them to jump bail as a result of the gravity of evidences against them.

Referring to FRN Vs Bamaiyi, he submitted that, where the security of the nation has been compromised, granting the applicants bail would be sending a wrong signal to the populace, insisting that it was even a risk for them to be freed, as number of military officers had lost their lives as a result of the fraudulent activities of the defendants.

Earlier, counsel to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji SAN had prayed the court, pursuant to Section 32(3), 158, 162, 163, 167, 168(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Sections 35, 36(6)(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended to admit him to bail either on self-recognition or on very liberal terms.

He asked the court to discountenance the counter affidavit of the prosecution which alleged amongst others, that the former NSA boss had landed properties in London and Dubai as being assertions that had no cogent proves of address.

Relying on Section 162 and 165, he argued that all cases of financial crimes were that of restitution than imprisonment, and since the applicant was not arraigned for a capital offence, restitution is only possible if he is free.

Having listened to arguments from all parties, Justice Affem adjourned ruling on the bail to Monday, December 21, 2015.

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