Justice Adeniyi Ademola, a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has on Tuesday withdrawn from presiding over the trial of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The embattled judge, who was one of those arrested by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), said he would no longer preside over the criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against the detained Dasuki, in the wake of allegations that he obtained bribe from the ex-NSA.
He was among the seven judges detained between October 8 and 9 after the SSS “invaded” and thoroughly searched his apartment – and alleged the discovery of hundreds of thousands in dollars in addition to documents linking them to very expensive real estates.
Barely days after the invasion, Ademola had written the Chief Justice of Nigeria, saying he was attacked unjustly.
He cited his previous rulings on Mr. Dasuki during which he granted him bail and then the SSS failed to obey the order.
The embattled judge also mentioned his previous decisions on a case involving a leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as reasons for his arrest.
According to him, the reason for his withdrawal is the current allegations of corruption levelled against him.
“I am sure you are conversant with what is going on the last seven days. One of the allegations being made against me is that I received some money from Sambo Dasuki. This is the allegation of the SSS.
“I thought I should tell the counsel what is being said.”
“Before I announce my decision, let me ask the defendant (Dasuki) some questions,” Mr. Ademola said.
Before making his decision known, Justice Ademola interviewed Colonel Sambo Dasuki asking him to tell the whole world if he had known him prior to the case and if he had given him any money directly or through his lawyers to which the former NSA replied in the negative.
He then looked at Dasuki and asked: “Do you know me at all or have come in contact with me?
“No I don’t know you my Lord” Dasuki responded.
“Did you at any time give me money in respect of the on going trial? “No, my Lord, I didn’t give you any money”, Dasuki replied Ademola
“Did you send any money to me; to any member of my family; or through any counsel?”, the Judge further queried.
“No, my Lord, except maybe the DSS agents who are reporting the allegation did”, a visibly displeased Dasuki answered.
Justice Ademola thereafter went ahead to announce that he was transferring the file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court “for a reassignment to another judge having regards to the allegations against this court by the complainant, that is the DSS.”