Abuja (AFP) - The fraud trial of Nigeria's former national security advisor was adjourned on Friday, amid warnings that scattershot investigation and a rush to prosecute could hamper anti-corruption efforts.
Sambo Dasuki is facing three separate cases over alleged illegal possession of firearms, money laundering and diverting cash meant to buy weapons and equipment for troops fighting Boko Haram.
Friday's trial involved a 19-count charge on an alleged bogus weapons deal but it was pushed back due to a dispute over Dasuki's continued detention despite being granted bail.
"The matter cannot proceed today," judge Hussein Yusuf told the high court in Abuja, before adjourning the case until February 4.
The firearms and money laundering trial is supposed to begin on February 16.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has embarked on a wide-ranging crackdown on endemic corruption since taking office last year, leading to a slew of arrests and charges.
This week the government claimed 55 people stole more than $6 billion in public funds between 2006 and 2013, leaving Nigeria in the lurch with its economy struggling from oil price falls.
But repeated legal delays and the impression of a rush to prosecute risk leaving Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) open to criticism.
At a separate hearing at the same court involving main opposition spokesman Olisa Metuh, who is facing two separate criminal cases, the judge warned the state should pay attention to due process.
"I cannot allow this to go haywire," judge Ishaq Bello said before ordering Metuh's release on bail.
Metuh's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has repeatedly accused Buhari of partisanship in his anti-corruption crusade, as most of those implicated so far have been party members.
PDP social media spokesman Deji Adeyanju described it as "a witch-hunt, a vendetta against the party".
The head of pro-democracy group the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre in Abuja, Clement Nwankwo, suggested rushing investigation and prosecution could backfire on Buhari and the APC.
"I think this government is perhaps shooting itself in the foot by not properly investigating the cases with diligence," he told AFP.
"It's good if you can bring people to account, not so good if you are allowing this to be seen as politicised or categorised as a witch-hunt and not efficiently prosecuting."