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$2.1b Fraud: Court Adjourns Dasuki, Others Trial to May 2

Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, has adjourned hearing in a case of criminal diversion of $2.1billion involving former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) to May 2, 2018.

Dasuki is facing a 19-count charge of abuse of office and fraud alongside Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State; his son, Sagir Bafarawa; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu; a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda as well as Sagir’s firm, Dalhatu Investment.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired to divert the said money which was part of funds earmarked for purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.

The former NSA and his co-accused are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Other defendants had sought to be separately tried to ensure speedy determination of their cases.

But, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, objected to the application noting that, Bafarawa, his son and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Limited, were properly joined with Dasuki, Bashiru Yuguda and Shuaibu Salisu for their roles in the diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.

He added that Dalhatu Investment owned by Bafarawa and his son was the receiver of the alleged stolen funds.

Justice Baba-Yusuf refused the application by the applicants/defendants in his ruling on October 19, 2017, prompting an appeal to the Court of Appeal and up to the Supreme Court, which on March 2, 2018 affirmed the decision of the lower court and ordered accelerated hearing.

While the appeal lasted, further proceedings were put on hold at the trial court.

At the resumed sitting on Thursday, March 22, 2018 counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that following the decision of the Supreme Court which refused the application of the defendants for separate trials and ordered accelerated hearing of the suit, “We are ready to go on”.

On the other hand, counsel to the 2nd defendant, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, argued that the business of the day should be to brief the court on the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision and thereafter pick a date for hearing.

He therefore prayed the court for an adjournment.

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