N15bn corruption Charge: Bafarawa Knows Fate Jan 25
Embattled former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa will on January 25, 2018 know his fate in the criminal charge of corruption brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the Sokoto State High Court.
The former governor was charged alongside 16 others for alleged diversion and theft of public funds to the tune of N15,000,000,000 (Fifteen Billion Naira Only).
Upon arraignment on the 16th December, 2009, Bafarawa and his co-accused pleaded not guilty to 47 count charge.
Those charged alongside Bafarawa are; Alhaji Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, Alhaji Isa Sadiq Achida, Hajia Aishatu Binji, Sen. Salihu Bakwai, Alhaji Salihu Maibuhu Gunmi, Adamu Gurori, Alhaji Adamu Gurori, Alhaji Habibu Halilu Modaci, and Sambo Bello Danchadi. Others are Alhaji Abdullahi Ahmed Bida, Chief Mike Umeh, Alhaji Umaru Kwambo, Shehu Koko, Ubale Yahaya, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, and Alhaji Tukur Alkali.
However, in the course of the trial and to the surprise of prosecution, the present governor of Sokoto, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal decided to pardon 5 of the 16 accused persons charged with Bafarawa. Those pardoned are; Alhaji Tukur Alkali, Bello Isah, Alhaji Isah Sadiq, Alhaji Habibu Halilu Modachi and Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi.
Being dissatisfied with the 25th September, 2017 ruling of the trial court, the EFCC approached the Court of Appeal, Sokoto division, to quash the ruling of the lower court.
On November 16, 2017, the commission closed its case against the remaining accused persons.
Subsequently, the accused persons filed a no-case submission through their counsels: Lateef Fagbemi, SAN for the 1st,2nd,5th,6th and 7th accused persons and Mohammed Adeleke for the 3rd and 4th accused persons.
In his argument, Fagbemi submitted that the prosecution failed to provide the ingredients of the offences his clients were charged with. He added that for offence to be referred to as an offence, that offence must be sighted by law and in the instant case, according to him, the prosecution failed to provide the content of the law that contradicted the offence his clients were charged with. He further argued that such law must be tendered before the court since it has only been gazetted. My Lord cannot take judicial notice of such law.
Adeleke, counsel to the 3rd and 4th accused persons, urged the court to adopt the written address as his argument and discharge and acquit his clients. He called the attention of the court to page 13 and 14 in paragraph 4.25 and 4.26 of the prosecution written address where they conceded that no prima-facie case has been established against his client.
After listening to the argument of counsel, Justice Abbas adjourned the matter to January 25th, 2017 for ruling on no case submission.