The Federal Government was again yesterday ordered to allow the detained former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, have unhindered access to his lawyers for consultation and briefing in preparation for his trial.
The Federal Capital Territory High Court also granted one month permission to former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, who is standing trial alongside Dasuki to go for Lesser Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
During yesterday’s proceedings, the court ordered that Dasuki be released to his team of lawyers for eight working days to enable him brief them in preparation for his trial.
Justice Peter Affen, who issued the order, directed that the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) must bring him to his lawyers within the premises of the FCT headquarters.
Similar orders have been made previously by Justices Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court and Baba Yusuf of an Abuja High Court, due to complaints made by Dasuki of denial of access to his lawyers.
Ruling in an application by Dasuki, in which he complained that he has been denied access to his lawyers in spite of court orders, Justice Affen held that it was in the interest of justice that the defendant be allowed access to the lawyers of his choice as required by law and in the interest of fair trial.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had vehemently objected Dasuki’s request for access to his lawyers.
Jacobs had argued that there was no evidence before the court that Dasuki’s lawyers made any attempt to visit the headquarters of the DSS to take briefing from their clients.
Noting that the request was a ploy to delay the trial, Jacobs prayed the court not to indulge the defendant in the request as doing so will further delay the trial.
Meanwhile, Justice Affen granted permission to Bafarawa to go for lesser Hajj, following a motion to that effect by Dasuki’s lawyer, Prince Latif Fagbemi (SAN) and which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.
The judge ordered that the travel document be released to Bafarawa by the registrar of the court while the applicant was granted permission to perform the lesser Hajj between June 5 to July 5.
Justice Affen then adjourned the matter till July 14 and 15, for definite trial at the instance of counsels in the matter, warning that he would not accept any excuse from any of the Parties in the matter forthwith.