As Justice Ademola Recuses Self from Trial, Dasuki Denies Bribing Judge
One of the judges arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corrupt practices, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Tuesday, withdrew from the trial of the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Justice Ademola told the open court that one of the allegations of DSS against him was that he allegedly received certain sums of unspecified amount of money from Dasuki.
Justice Ademola is currently enjoying an administrative bail from the DSS.
Dasuki was arraigned on September 1, 2015 over charges that bordered on unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering .
But due to intermittent interlocutory applications from both the prosecution and defence counsel, commencement of the trial of the former NSA has been delayed.
At the Tuesday trial, the judge told the court that he would not be able to go ahead with the hearing of the case in view of the recent clampdown on some judges in the country by the DSS.
Dipo Okpeseyi, SAN, was the prosecution counsel while the defence counsel was Adedayo Adedeji.
Addressing the court, Justice Ademola said, "I'm sure the prosecution and defence counsel are conversant with what is going on in the last seven days in this country.
"One of the allegations being made against me by the Department of State Security is that I received certain sums of unspecified money from the defendant.
"Of course, I have responded to that allegation of receiving an unspecified sums of money from the defendant but it will be wise for him to answer some questions.
"Do you know me at all or have you come in contact with me?, Justice Ademola asked; "I don't know you my Lord" Dasuki responded.
"Did you at any time give me money in respect of the on going trial" the judge asked, but Dasuki replied, "No, my Lord, I didn't give you any money".
Again, Justice Ademola queried, "Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family; or through any counsel?
But Dasuki answered: "No, my Lord. except the DSS agents who are reporting the allegation did".
The judge said: "I am happy that you have answered these questions. In the interest of fair hearing, I am minded to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for further action."
Reacting, the prosecution counsel said, "We are guided by your Lordship's decision even though we had come for a ruling and continuation of trial.
Adedeji acknowledged the recent happenings and said the judge was right to take that step.
Consequently, Okpeseyi requested for an adjournment while await the decision of the Chief Judge.
After listening to the counsel, Justice Ademola said, "This court is minded to transfer this case to the Chief Judge.
"The defendant has vehemently denied in open court today, the allegation made by the DSS.
"Therefore, this case file will be returned to the C.J.(Chief Judge) in line with the principle of fair hearing.
"This criminal matter has been adjourned to another date as may be fixed by the new judge.