“The thing started from Boko Haram in the northeast, now it is exchanging. Before they were just shooting people, now they are shooting and also receiving the ransom and asking for N50 million, N100 million.
“This N100 million they are given; they are going to buy arms with it. Maybe they are only taking 10 per cent of the money. But the question is which routes are these weapons coming in from?” he asked.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has described as “shocking and unacceptable”, the ruling of the Sokoto State High Court which discharged and acquitted former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa of the charges against him.
Spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday, hours after Justice Bello Abbas cleared the former governor and four others of the 22 counts of conspiracy, criminal misappropriation, theft and receiving of stolen funds levelled against them.
Others acquitted alongside Bafarawa are Nasiru Bafarawa, Salihu Gummi, Beedash Nigeria Limited, and Nasdabap Nigeria Limited.
In the course of the trial, the EFCC said it called nine witnesses and presented several documents that were admitted in evidence while the defendants called only six witnesses.
They were, however, surprised that Justice Abbas discharged and acquitted the accused persons of all counts on the premise that the evidence presented by the prosecution were “mere hearsay”, and that there were “no documentary evidence” to back up the claim of witnesses.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the judge erred in law while its counsel has been mandated to immediately appeal the ruling at the Court of Appeal.
“The judgment of Justice Abbas is the climax in the series of twists and turns that the trial had witnessed over the last nine years or so,” the EFCC alleged.
The defendants were first arraigned on 47 counts alongside 12 others on December 16, 2009, before the Sokoto State High Court.
Upon arraignment, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the commission.
Soon after their arraignment, the defendants filed a motion asking the court to quash the charges against them, but the motion was dismissed by both the trial court and the Court of Appeal.
On September 29, 2011, the prosecution filed an amended 44-count against the accused persons.
While the case was ongoing, one of the accused persons, Abdullahi Bida, died while another, Aisha Binji, was discharged following a nolle prosequi application filed by the then Attorney General of Sokoto State.
“Even more shocking was the wholesale pardon of five of the defendants by the current governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,” the EFCC said.
It added, “Those pardoned by Tambuwal are Alhaji Tukur Alkali, who is the Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries Development; Commissioner for Home Affairs, Isa Achida; the Chairman, Governing Board, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi; the member representing Isa constituency at the House of Assembly, Alhaji Habibu Modachi; and a Permanent Secretary, Isah Bello.”
The commission said on December 16, 2017, the prosecution closed its case against the defendants who, through their counsel, filed an application for no-case submission which was subsequently dismissed by the court on January 31, 2018.
It said Justice Abbas had on May 8 reserved July 4 for judgment in the matter, but the parties were informed that the judge was out of the state on an official assignment, when the case came up.
They had subsequently agreed to return to court on July 31, for the judgment.
An Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki and five others in the arms deal trial involving $2.1bn.
Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Dasuki on the ground that it is an indisputable fact that former NSA was admitted to bail in 2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of government.
Counsel to Dasuki, Mr Ahmed Raji applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted to the former NSA even though he has not been allowed to enjoy same since December 2015.
He urged Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Dasuki before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.
Dasuki and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf 22 count charge on that were transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court to which they all pleaded not guilty.
Others charged alongside Dasuki are former Minister of State for Finance, Mallam Bashir Yuguda; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Shuaibu Salisu; Dalhatu Investment; Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and lawyer to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Mr Ahmed Raji, has confirmed the re-arrest of his client, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) shortly after he was released on bail from Kuje prisons.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Mr Raji said that no reason was given by the security agents for the re-arrest of Colonel Dasuki who was granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja high court.
Colonel Sambo Dasuki is currently standing trial before different courts in Abuja over alleged criminal diversion of 2.1 billion dollars meant for the purchase of arms.
The DSS took custody of Dasuki shortly after perfecting the third bail granted him by Justice Peter Affem after two other courts had done same.
The former NSA had been granted bail by a Federal High Court and an Abuja High Court each in the sum of 250 million naira.
The Former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former Minister for State of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, a former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa and three others have been granted bail with conditions.
Their bail was granted on Monday by another Federal Capital Territory High Court in the sum of 250 million Naira each and two sureties in like sum. Ruling on the bail application on Monday Justice Peter Affem, ordered that the sureties must be a retired or serving civil servant in a government parastatal.
One of the sureties must be resident of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who must also own landed property worth 250 million Naira.
The court also ordered the accused persons to deposit their traveling documents with the Court Registrar and in the case where this condition applies in another court, the accused persons must get a letter from the Court Registrar of the said court indicating that the passport was in the custody of the court. Justice Peter Affem also ordered that in case of further investigation, the defendants could only appear at the anti-graft agency within the hours of 9:00am to 6:00pm local time. The counsels representing the accused are also to recommend in writing that sureties are of good standing.
Justice Affem ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the prison pending when they meet their bail conditions. Colonel Dasuki and five other accused persons are standing trial on a 22-count charge for alleged diversion of funds, misappropriation and breach of trust to the tune of 19. 4 billion Naira.
The charges were brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, and five others have again denied the criminal charges brought against them by the federal government.
The former NSA, along with former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda and a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and three others are on trial for allegedly squandering huge sums of money meant for supply of security equipment.
They were arraigned on a 22-count charge before Justice Peter Affem of the FCT High Court and when the charges were read to them, the accused persons denied the charges.
This prompted the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, to request for an adjournment till 2016 to enable him assemble his witnesses for trial.
Counsel to the second accused person, Mr Ahmed Raji raised the issue of bail for the accused persons, adding that motions for their bail had been filed and served on the prosecution.
With the consent of all the parties in the suit, the trial judge adjourned hearing in the bail application until December 16, 2015.
He also ordered that the accused persons be kept in the custody of the EFCC until the next adjourned date.
The former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, has denied involvement in the 2.1 billion dollar arms deal scandal, saying he did not receive any money from the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd)
A statement issued in Abuja by one of his aides, a former Special Adviser on Youths and Students Matters, during his term as Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Akibu Dalhatu, maintains that the former Governor had no deal with the former National Security Adviser.
Mr Dalhatu, who in the statement said he had visited Bafarawa at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), claimed that his boss was not arrested at home or anywhere else as has been reported in a section of the media.
The statement added that the former governor went to the EFCC to honour an invitation made to him by the agency while he was abroad.
He had informed them through a letter by his lawyers that he was abroad and would honour their invitation upon his return, which he did.
The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki has again been stalled following the filing of a fresh application by the federal government seeking to stop the execution of the bail granted to the accused person on November 3, 2015.
At the resumed hearing, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyitan said that he had just been briefed to handle the case through a fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation authorizing him to take over the prosecution of the case.
He also told the court that he has filed a new application seeking to stay the execution or further execution of the order of the court delivered on November 3, 2015.
He added that the federal government was not in disobedience of the order of the court granting bail to the accused person.
Lawyer to the accused person, Mr Ahmed Raji, however, objected to the hearing of the application saying it was not ripe for hearing.
He told the court that he had just been served with the motion in court, adding that he needed time to respond to the motion.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the case till December 8.
Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone
Meanwhile, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has denied implicating anyone or group during interrogation on the allegation of $2billion arms purchase deal brought against him by the Federal Government.
Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate said that his client never made such statement or name anyone to EFCC. He wondered where the authors got their information from.
“I was with Dasuki yesterday and wish to make a categorical statement that my client never made any statement of such nature or naming anybody or group in any statement.
“Quote me anywhere, Dasuki has not done anything like that. It is absolutely untrue. It is the figment of the imagination of the authors aimed at creating falsehood for reasons best known to them and Nigerians should disregard them.
“They are just out to scandalise the man, bring his image and character into disrepute so that his friends and well-wishers can run away from him. They want him deserted and that will fail,” Raji said.
President Goodluck Jonathan has given the assurance that the future of Nigeria under the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is bright
President Jonathan said this while speaking in Sokoto, North West Nigeria on Saturday at a reception organised for a former governor of the state, Attahiru Bafarawa, who has defected to the PDP with his supporters from the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The President noted that the PDP would not lose its place as the number one party in the country.
He added that “PDP is the only party that is stable and it will continue to uphold the tenets of democracy as well as respect the rule of law at all levels.”
The President also said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under his leadership has done so much, worthy of the support of the people of Sokoto State.
He mentioned the farmers’ enhancement programme, which he said reached 282 farmers directly under the Gross Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, and how he personally visited Sokoto to inaugurate the Almajiri Integrated School with the Sultan.
He further said that the Federal Government under the Party would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who is an indigene of Sokoto State was conspicuously absent at the grand rally and reception organised by the People’s Democratic Party PDP for the former governor. Although reports indicated that the Speaker was out of the country.
At the rally, Bafarawa was received by the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu and presented to President Jonathan and other party leaders, including the National Working Committee of the party.
Bafarawa said that he defected to the PDP, following the decision of his supporters, and promised that Sokoto State would be delivered to the PDP in 2015.
The event was also attended by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, the Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Mukhtari Shagari and other party loyalists.