7 December 2017

Nigeria: Dasuki, Bafarawa's Trial Adjourned to Feb 15

The trial of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa has been stalled again due to the absence of the ex-NSA in court.

Bafarawa, his son and company, Dalhatu Investment Limited alongside Dasuki and a former minister of state for finance, Bashir Yuguda are standing trial on a 22-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and fraudulent diversion of public funds amounting to N19.4 billion.

The trial judge, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf had adjourned the matter to yesterday for definite hearing when the case last came up on October 20.

However, the trial could not commence, when the matter was called as prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) informed the court that he had just returned from the Supreme Court where an appeal filed by Dasuki was heard and judgment reserved for March 2, 2018.

He said while Dasuki earlier appeared at the Supreme court for his matter, he was not present at the high court. He added that Dasuki withdrew his application before the Supreme Court asking for the trial at the high court to be adjourned pending the hearing of his appeal at the apex court earlier scheduled for January 24 because the Supreme Court decided to hear the appeal yesterday and reserved judgment.

Jacobs thereafter asked the court to allow the trial to commence today since it was earlier adjourned for yesterday and today, but one of the defence counsels urged the court to adjourn to a fresh date to commence the trial.

Justice Baba-Yusuf thereafter adjourned the matter to February 15, 2018 for definite hearing.

Meanwhile, one of the sureties for the fifth defendant, Sagir Bafarawa, approached the court yesterday to withdraw his suretyship, though he did not state any reason for the withdrawal.

The surety, Hassan Aminu Dan Kaduna, approached the court through his counsel, Francis Mgboh, who informed the court of an application to that effect filed before the court.

Responding, Dr Joshua Olatoke (SAN), counsel for the fourth and fifth defendants, stated that the withdrawal was as a result of a personal issue between Dan Kaduna and his client.

He, however, informed the court that the defendant had got another person to replace the withdrawing surety to stand for him.

Justice Baba-Yusuf while discharging Dan Kaduna as a surety for the fifth defendant stated that the younger Bafarawa was at liberty to arrange for a reliable surety.

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