DASUKI-4Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammad Sambo Dasuki was arraigned in court on Monday for alleged diversion of public funds estimated at N32 billion.

Also arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on a 19-count charge were a former Director of Finance in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, ex-Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-Kusa and two companies- Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
Dasuki and Co were charged with conspiracy and criminal breach of trust under the Penal Code Act and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establsihment) Act.

Specifically, Dasuki and Salisu were accused of distributing funds held in the account of the NSA in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to politicians, media practitioners and businessmen purportedly for political campaigns and organising of prayer sessions.

The duo were, in counts 5, 6, 7 and 8 accused of paying N2.2billion to Baba-Kusa  through  the bank accounts of Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited in Zenith Bank Plc.

Dasuki, Salisu and former Special Assistant, Domestic Affairs to the President, Warimpamowei Dudafa (now at large) were, in count 1, said to have received N10billion, which they converted to $47m and 5.6m Euro, and claimed to have distributed to  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary election delegates  around November 27, 2014.

Dasuki and Salihu were, in count 2, said to have, between January 22 and March 19, 2015 “remitted N2,120,000,000 into the account of Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited   controlled by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi for the funding of the media activities for the 2015 presidential election campaign for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.

They were in counts 15, 16 and 17 accused of paying N670m “to the bank account of General Hydrocarbons Limited with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc controlled by one Obaigbena Nduka purporting the said sum to be payment for’ energy consulting’; “N250m to the bank account of Tony Anenih with First Bank of Nigeria Plc”; and “N345m to the bank account of Starbriid Limited with Stanbic IBTC Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank controlled by one Emmanuel Lawani on behalf of Senator Iyorchia Ayu for the construction of shopping mall at Jabi, Abuja.

Baba-Kusa, Acacia Holdings and Reliance Referral Hospital were charged in counts 9, 10, 11 and 12 with receiving funds from Dasuki and Salihu which they knew to be proceeds of criminal conduct.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them yesterday. Their bail application could not be taken, following which the court adjourned to Tuesday for the hearing of the bail application and the counter affidavit by the prosecution team led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN). They are to remain in the custody of the EFCC till the court considers their bail application.

Former Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda, former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and four others listed in a separate charge of 22 counts are scheduled to be arraigned today before Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the FCT, Maitama, Abuja.

Their planned arraignment yesterday was stalled by the absence of some lawyers to some of the accused persons.

By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)

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