A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, January 20, has ordered the Federal Government to produce former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in court on February 16 to answer criminal charges leveled against him.
According to the judge presiding over Dasuki’s trial, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, it is mandatory for a defendant in a criminal matter to be physically present in court at every stage of the prosecution except where the presence of an accused is excused by court for clear reasons.
Mr Dasuki’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) told the court that his client was abducted by security agents of the Federal Government six weeks ago to an unknown destination. The trial judge in response said:
“I am worried that the accused is not here. I do not want to set a bad precedent. Except the court gives express order for the defendant not to be in court, the accused must be brought to court from wherever he is.”
“The accused must be here because I am not sure if what I am doing right now in the absence of the accused is not an illegality. “Government and whoever is concerned must endeavour to do the necessary thing. The accused having been formally charged in court must be produced in court for trial on the appointed days in compliance with provisions of the law.” The judge then adjourned the case to February 16 and 17 when the trial would begin while stating that Dasuki must be produced in court that day.