Alleged N15bn fraud: Court fixes date for judgement on Bafarawa’s case

A Sokoto State High Court on Tuesday reserved July 4, for judgment in the alleged N15 billion corruption charges against Attahiru Bafarawa, former Sokoto State Governor.

Bafarawa is facing a 33-count charge bordering on corruption, illegal sale of government shares, misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, receiving stolen properties and unauthorised payments allegedly committed between between 2003 and 2007.

The case was filed before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2009.

The Judge, Justice Bello Abbas, who is also the Chief Judge of the state, fixed the date after counsel to the two parties adopted their written addresses and closed their cases.

Bafarawa is standing trial alongside Beedash Nigeria Ltd, Nasdalbap Nigeria Ltd, Nasiru Bafarawa and Salihu Maibuhu-Gummi.

At resumed hearing on Tuesday, the lead defence counsel, Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), argued that the complainant had not provided any evidence in respect of 11 of the charges while the ingredients of proof on the 22 other charges were not sufficient to warrant conviction.

He contended that the law requires that evidence in criminal offences must be clear and reasonable doubt.

Fagbemi prayed the court to regard Bafarawa as “an honest complainant turned accused’’ in view of the fact that he first reported the fraud case to EFCC in 2006.

According to him, Bafarawa took the right step as whistle blower before circumstances turned against him to become the accused.

He urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused on the ground that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

In his submission, EFCC lead counsel, Chief Jacob Ochidi, prayed the court to consider the evidences provided in the course of the trial and convict Bafarawa accordingly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had earlier discharged and acquitted Munti Trade Golobal Concept and Bashir Mamman-Nasarawa, who were among those joined in the original suit.


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