Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 adjourned further hearing in the criminal charge of diverting $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms, involving former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Attahiru and their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited to February 15, 2018.
The defendants had sought to be tried separately from former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who was joined as a co-defendant in the suit, to ensure speedy trial. But, the application was refused by Justice Baba-Yusuf on October 19, 2017.
Dissatisfied, the defendants’ legal team led by Kayode Olatoke, SAN, proceeded to the Court of Appeal urging it to order the trial court to separate the case.
Olatoke argued that “the applicants’ trial if separated from Dasuki’s would guarantee their constitutional rights to a speedy trial within the reasonable time in line with Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution”.
In response, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, through its counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, maintained its objection to the application.
According to Jacobs, “Bafarawa, his son and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, were properly joined with Dasuki, Bashiru Yuguda and Shuaibu Salisu for their roles in the diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.”
He stated that Dalhatu investment owned by Bafarawa and his son was the receiver of the alleged stolen funds. The application also failed at the appellate court.
Still not satisfied, the defendants, at the Supreme Court obtained an order to stay the proceedings while still seeking to separate the trial.
At the resumed sitting today, Jacobs drew the attention of the trial judge to the effect that, “the supreme court had withdrawn the application for stay of proceeding and has compelled the trial court to adjourn till when judgment which was reserved for February 2, 2018, is delivered.”
Consequently, the matter was adjourned.
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A Report Of The Judgement Of The 16 Divisions Of The Court Of Appeal In Nigeria