NSA former boss asks courts to consolidate charges
Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf of an Abuja High Court yesterday scolded former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), during the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki in the alleged $2.1billion arms fund diversion.
The trial slated for yesterday could not go ahead as senior lawyers present in court persuaded the judge to adjourn the trial to calm down the frayed nerves.
Dasuki, through Daudu, had brought a new motion to court seeking for consolidation of the criminal charges brought against the NSA’s ex boss in two Abuja high courts.
Daudu claimed that the charges in the two courts constituted abuse of court processes because they have same facts and figure and that could become prejudiced if the two courts try him simultaneously.
However, Justice Baba Yusuf became angry immediately Daudu introduced the motion and challenged him on what injury his client will suffer should the two courts go ahead with the trial.
The judge lambasted Daudu for employing delay tactics to shield Dasuki from trial, insisting that the tactic will not work in his own court.
Justice Yusuf said, “If you think the mission of this new motion is to delay the trial, I can assure you that it has already failed. I know your antecedents in this type of cases, filing frivolous, baseless and un-warranted motions to frustrate the court and trial of your client”.
“I know the next motion you will file will be to ask me to withdraw or disqualify myself from this case, I will not succumb to your old fashion of doing things. It will not work in my court.”
“I have over-indulged you and I am ready to go ahead with this trial today I cannot be coming here to waste my time, I have granted you enough respect, this application is a disrespect to me.”
“I have known you for certain things, if you have a court where people will dance to your tune, go to that court. I am not ready to dance to your tune.”
“You are here with a dishonest motive as far as this motion is concern. The whole target is to frustrate the trial, but you will fail”.
The atmosphere became charged to the peak when counsel to the Federal Government Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said that he respects Daudu a lot as a senior colleague, a role model and former NBA president and ended up describing Daudu’s action with the motion as very unfortunate.
Attempts by Daudu to complain of insult from Jacobs to the judge was rebuffed when Justice Baba Yusuf said, “for your information a junior counsel can advise a senior one and that is my position.”
“I have been accommodating all sorts of nonsense, yet you are not ready to respect me. You are disgracing me as one who does not know what he is doing here.”
“You are subjecting me and this court to public disgrace. When you come to court people are watching and we must behave, that is my advice for you.”
At this point, Akin Olujimi (SAN), prayed the judge to grant adjournment “for us to sort out ourselves.”
“I have never seen your Lordship in this kind of situation and please indulge adjournment to enable us sort out things.”
Justice Baba Yusuf therefore, adjourned the matter till June 15 for hearing of the motion.