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ANXIETY MOUNTS OVER EFCC’S ALLEGED PLAN TO RETURN DASUKI TO DSS CUSTODY FOR “SECURITY REASONS”




Indications have emerged that ex-National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, may return to the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) for “security reasons”.

Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, on Wednesday granted bail to Dasuki, ex-Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; ex-Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu, ex-Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa and his son, Sagir Attahiru in the sum of N250 million each.

Justice Affen also banned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from re-arresting the aforementioned accused persons, who were arraigned on a 22-count charge of alleged criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and retention of proceeds of crime worth N19.4billion.
But the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charge.

It was learnt last night that the EFCC may file fresh charges against Dasuki and some of the accused persons already granted bail by the High Court of Justice.
Following his inability to meet one of his bail conditions, the former NSA was remanded in Kuje Prison, as ordered by the court.

It was learnt that Dasuki could not get a surety who should deposit the original title deeds of a property or properties owned by him, which must be worth N250million, being the amount of the consideration for his bail.

While the ex-NSA was trying to meet the bail conditions, there was anxiety following plans to re-arrest him by the anti-graft agency, in spite of the court’s order.
Indications that Dasuki would be re-arrested became obvious on Wednesday night when some operatives opposed Salisu’s release because of another pending matter.

However, it took the intervention of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria before the former finance director in the ONSA regained freedom.

The fate of Dasuki, however, created anxiety for his counsel, family, friends and associates last night, following moves to return him to DSS custody for what a source termed “security reasons”.
A source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence to The Nation, said: “We will obey court order to release Dasuki on bail but we may only return him to DSS custody because he was on remand warrant of a Chief Magistrate’s Court, which was obtained by the DSS, when we asked the agency to make him available to us for prosecution.

“I think the remand warrant may have to do with security issues beyond our purview.
“In line with inter-agency cooperation, we took custody of Dasuki from the DSS, we will return him there. It is left to Dasuki to approach another court to vacate the remand warrant got by the DSS.

“Also, we are likely to arraign Dasuki and some of the accused persons in another court for different charges. The case against these accused persons has many dimensions”.

When contacted last night to react to the planned moves to re-arrest his client, counsel to Dasuki, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN) said: “It will be improper and contemptuous of the court to re-arrest Dasuki. Justice Peter Affen was explicit in issuing an order that neither Dasuki nor any of the accused persons should be re-arrested. Even if the order is not there, you don’t re-arrest someone already on trial.

“In two courts in the FCT, they have been granted bail and the EFCC has been served with the order. The essence of the bail is to guarantee their attendance at the trial
“To re-arrest or detain Dasuki or any of the accused persons will look like you are ridiculing the court”.
On the likely release of Dasuki to the DSS, Raji said: “There is no remand warrant for Dasuki. You use remand warrant from a Magistrate’s Court when a matter is under investigation. The moment you arraign accused persons in court, the warrant becomes otiose and irrelevant.

“It is the EFCC that is investigating the accused persons; the same agency arraigned them in court and now that they have been granted bail, it should release them.
“Are they saying that they will return Dasuki to the DSS so that he will not be able to go for trial? We should not ridicule the court in any manner”.