The former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) who is being unlawfully detained against court orders by Department of State Service (DSS) has approached the Court of Appeal Abuja Division praying the court to set aside the subpoena issued against him by the federal high court to appear before it to testify in a N400m corruption charges brought against Former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Olisa Metuh.
Dasuki is challenging the decision of the federal high court Abuja which last week turned down his request to set aside the subpoena issued against him by the court.
In the appeal, Dasuki is asking the Court of Appeal to quash the decision of Justice Okon Abang which compel them at the instance of Metuh to appear in court to give evidence against his wish.
However, at the high court, the ex NSA brought a motion praying the court to adjourn the execution of the subpoena until further notice, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal he filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
In the motion brought pursuant to order 5 Rule 10 and 11, Dasuki, through his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji ( SAN) told Justice Abang that, having lodged an appeal at the appellate court, it is incumbent on the lower court to allow the appellate court to determine the matter before executing the subpoena against him.
He claimed that he had already compiled the record of proceedings and transmitted same to the Appeal Court and that his appeal had been entered and issued with a number as required by law.
On the allegation raised by the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir that Dasuki had vowed not appear in court, Raji told the court to expunge the remarks of the prosecution from the court record on the ground that, t was a hearsay evidence.
Raji told Justice Abang that apart from the fact that the prosecution was quoting another source on the evidence, “the evidence itself is incriminating, damaging and not admissible under the Evidence Act”.
The counsel pleaded with the Judge to hesitate in issuing bench warrant against the DG of DSS on subpoena to Dasuki on the ground that Dasuki had placed necessary document before the judge to ascertain that he (Dasuki) is already before the court of appeal to challenge the competence of the subpoena.
Although, former President Jonathan was not present in court, his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) urged the court to wholly set aside the issuance or service of subpoena against the former President.
The court had, on October 23, at the instance of Metuh issued a subpoena to compel Jonathan to appear in court for the purpose of giving evidence in his trial on an alleged corruption.
But, Ozekhome, apart from praying for the setting aside of the subpoena, also asked the court to order Metuh to deposit in the court custody a sum of N1b in line with the provision of Section 241 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA), 2015 for him to appear in court.
Jonathan, in a motion filed on his behalf by Ozekhome explained that the N1 billion is for his travelling expenses and those of his security personnel from Utuoke in Bayelsa to Abuja and also for logistics and tight provision of security throughout the period of his stay in Abuja
He urged the court to void the subpoena issued against him.
However, the subpoena against the former President was stepped down by the court following evidence from the court registrar that Jonathan had not been served with the document personally as required by the law.
The court registrar who read out in the open court an affidavit of non service explained that the house of the former President in Abuja was contacted by the bailiff of the court and that the bailiff was told that Jonathan had travelled out of the country and is being expected back in the country anytime in November.
In his bench ruling, Justice Abang asked the DSS boss to produce Dasuki in court, while the subpoena on the former President was stepped down due to non service.
Justice Okon Abang who ordered the production of Dasuki in court however said that the ex-NSA may not be compelled to testify in the trial until his motion, praying for adjournment is fully determined by the court.
The Judge said that Metuh, who sought to invite the former President to testify for him knows what to do in the area of substituted service as allowed by law.
It will be recalled that the former NSA asked the court to discharge him as a defence witness in Metuh’s trial.
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