Chris Steven, Abuja
Former National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former Minister of State for Finance Mallam Bashir Yuguda, former Governor of Sokoto state Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and three others standing trial in the $2.1billion arms deal scandal have denied allegations of diversions, misappropriation and breech of public trust in respect of N19.4B criminal charges brought against them by the Federal Government.
They were arraigned on 22 count charges before Justice Peter Affem of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
When the charges were read to them, all the accused persons denied the charges one after the others.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacobs SAN requested for an adjournment of the trial till next year to enable him assemble his witnesses.
However, Counsel to Col. Sambo Dasuki, Ahmed Raji SAN raised the issue of bail for the accused persons adding that motions for their bail have been filed and served on the prosecution.
The prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs confirmed that he has been served with application for bail of all the accused persons and with the consent of all the lawyers in the trial, the trial judge, Justice Peter Affem adjourned hearing in the bail application until Wednesday the 16th of December 2015.
He also ordered that the accused persons be kept in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) until their bail is decided tomorrow.
Meanwhile in another High Court of FCT presided by Justice Sani Yusuf, the court adjourned its bail ruling till Friday.
Mr. Dasuki, who was arraigned before Justice Sani Yusuf, alongside a former director of finance at the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and a former Group General Manager of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Kura, and two firms, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Reference Hospital, had on Monday filed for bail after pleading not guilty to the 19-count charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
After over two hours of arguments and counter-arguments from counsel to both parties, Mr. Yusuf adjourned bail ruling to Friday. Mr. Dasuki will remain in EFCC custody.