• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Arms deal: N4.6bn traced to Bafarawa, ex-Sokoto gov’s son, witness tells court

N15bn corruption Charge_ Bafarawa Knows Fate, Jan 25

Hamza Abdullahi, the second Prosecution Witness, in the trial-within-trial of Attahiru Bafarawa, former Sokoto State governor and four others, has testified in court that a sum of N4.633billion was traced to Dalhatu Investment Limited where Sagir Bafarawa, son of the ex-Sokoto governor is the sole signatory to the company’s account.

The witness, who testified before Justice Y. Halilu at the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Wednesday said Bafarawa’s son, and one other, simply identified as Nasir, were directors of the company.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2015 charged Sambo Dasuki; former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and his company, Dalhatu Investment Limited with 25 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune$2.1billion.

The witness stated that in 2015, he was the second-in-command of the Special Task Force, Fraud Investigation on Arms, Defence Equipment Procurement in the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, on the activities of 78 companies that received money from ONSA without justification, adding that Dalhatu Investment Limited was among the companies.

“From the report we received from ONSA, when we scrutinized the report, we traced the sum of N4.633billion paid to Dalhatu Investment Limited Account, domiciled in United Bank of Africa, (UBA), with Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa as the sole signatory of the account,” the witness said.

Abdullahi further informed the court that Bafarawa, who is the fourth defendant was interviewed on November 25, 2015, by the investigation team and that he made his statement voluntarily.

“My Lord, I witnessed the statement dated 25/11/2015 of Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa. He was interviewed in my presence, the statement was also recorded in my presence. After the written statement, I read it to him. Thereafter, I endorsed the written statement. I equally endorsed the second statement at 4 pm and it was concluded by 4:25 pm, the same day. I witnessed it, my name and signature were there,” he said.

The witness further informed the court that no kind of promise was made to the defendant and that he was neither threatened nor induced into writing any of the statements. “My Lord, there was nothing like promises made to the accused, threat or inducement. To the best of my knowledge, there was nothing like that. It was a very conducive environment and that was the Secretariat of the Special Task Force at the Head Office then. The secretariat is the conference room of the Chairman, and no member of the Special Task Force is authorized to make any promise in the course of the investigation.

“When Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa honoured our invitation, he came with his lawyer and he was confronted with the evidence that we have. Afterwards, he said he needed to consult his lawyer and later volunteered his written statement. These statements were based on the fact of the evidence we have on the company,” he explained.

He also stated that the defendant promised to provide the investigation team with a detailed analysis of the beneficiaries of the said fund traced to his account, adding that he voluntarily came forward with the details. “I have decided to make this statement without my lawyer. Attached here are the details signed by me,” the witness quoted from the statement of the defendant.

Justice Halilu thereafter adjourned the matter till May 22, 2024, for the defence to open their case in the trial-within-trial.