The 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.
Upon arraignment on the 16th December, 2009, Bafarawa and his co-accused pleaded not guilty to a 47-count charge.
Those charged alongside Bafarawa are: Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, Isa Sadiq Achida, Hajia Aishatu Binji, Sen. Salihu Bakwai, Salihu Maibuhu Gunmi, Adamu Gurori, Adamu Gurori, Habibu Halilu Modaci, and Sambo Bello Danchadi. Others are Abdullahi Ahmed Bida, Chief Mike Umeh, Umaru Kwambo, Shehu Koko, Ubale Yahaya, Maigari Dingyadi, and 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: Tukur Alkali, Bello Isah, Isah Sadiq, Habibu Halilu Modachi and 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 the lower court.
On the 16 of November, 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 offenses his clients were charged with. He added that for offense to be referred to as an offense, that offense 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 offense his clients were charged with. He further argued that such law must be tendered before the court since it has only been gazetted.
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.