A former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who is being prosecuted for two sets of charges before two judges of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, has yet to meet the conditions of the bail granted him last Friday and on Monday.
A source close to the ex-NSA confirmed to our correspondent at about 10pm on Wednesday that Dasuki and some of the accused persons had yet to meet the bail conditions, particularly the ones granted them last Friday.
Wednesday being the last working day before Christmas and Eid-el-Malud, the possibility of the former NSA and the other defendants remaining in prison during the festivities is almost certain.
The Federal Government has declared Thursday (today) as Eid-el-Malud holiday, while Friday and Monday have been declared as Christmas and Boxing Day holiday respectively.
Justice Baba Yusuf had, on December 18, granted bail to Dasuki and his co-accused persons in the sum of N250m with one surety in relation to 19 counts of misappropriation of about N32bn meant for purchase of arms preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
On December 21, Justice Peter Affen granted another bail to Dasuki and his co-defendants with respect to 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13bn, which the EFCC alleged was part of the arms purchase fund, in the sum of N250m with two sureties in like sum.
In line with the order by Justice Affen, Dasuki and the other accused persons were moved to Kuje Prison on Monday, pending when they would meet their bail conditions.
Before the ruling, both Justices Yusuf and Affen had ordered the accused to be remanded in the EFCC custody pending when ruling on their bail applications would be delivered.
It was learnt that the defendants, with respect to the charges before Justice Yusuf, were finding it difficult to meet the conditions imposed on them.
The terms of the N250m bail require each of the accused persons to produce one surety, who must be a serving or retired federal civil servant not below the rank of a director and must also have N250m worth of property in the FCT.
“The condition, which they (the accused persons) are finding difficult to meet is getting a civil servant in the director cadre, who has N250m worth of property. In fact, the EFCC people are waiting for a civil servant who will come out to say that he has N250m,” a source said.
The source said the EFCC operatives were watching both in court and at the prisons steps being taken by the accused persons in the process of meeting their bail conditions.
“The only problem we have is the fear by these potential sureties that they could be arrested by EFCC operatives, like it happened in the case of a former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, whose surety suddenly withdrew after being intimidated by the EFCC,” the source said.
Other co-accused persons, who are also under the bail conditions imposed by Justice Yusuf, are a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; a former Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Aminu Baba-Kusa; and his two companies, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
Among other conditions imposed on Dasuki and others by the judge was that the sureties must swear to an affidavit of means to show that they have the wherewithal to offset the N250m bail sum should the accused persons abscond from trial.
The accused persons were also ordered to deposit their passports and other travel documents with the court.
The judge also ordered that the accused persons must seek permission from the court before they could travel outside the FCT.
It was learnt that the accused persons found it easy to meet the conditions imposed by Justice Affen with respect to the charges of misappropriation of N13bn.
Apart from Dasuki, others in the second category are Salisu, a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir Attahiru; a firm, Dalhatu Investment and a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
The EFCC is prosecuting the set of defendants on 22 counts of misappropriation of about N13bn between August 2013 and May 7, 2015.
They pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of conspiracy, dishonest receipt of stolen property in breach of sections 97 and 317 of the Penal Code Act as well as receipt of proceeds of criminal conduct in breach of Section 17(b) of the EFCC Act.
The judge also ruled that should the EFCC require the accused persons to appear in its offices for further questioning on any future charges it intended to prefer against them, they should only be interrogated only between 9 am and 6pm and be allowed to go home.
He ruled that the anti-graft agency could only do otherwise with an order of “a superior court of record”.
The judge said the bail conditions were imposed in consideration of the terms of the bail granted by Justice Yusuf to Dasuki and Salisu with respect to the case of alleged misappropriation of N32bn preferred against the accused persons.
Justice Affen has fixed February 2 and 3 for trial.