Former Sokoto governor, Attharu Bafarawa and his son Sagir in an FCT High Court Maitama lost their bid to separate their trial from the former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Others in the trial on Thursday are Amb. BashirYuguda Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Sagir Attahiru of Dalhatu Investment Ltd.
They were arraigned earlier on a 22-count charge bordering on diversion, conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office and criminal breach of trust of about N19.4 billion. Bafarawa and Sagir, who are fourth and fifth defendants in the charges had earlier complained to the Court that their joint trial with Dasuki was affecting their daily lives because of the incessant delay of the trial.
In their motion for separation of the case argued by the counsel, Dr Kayode Olatoke (SAN), they claimed that they could be prosecuted separately apart from Dasuki to ensure accelerated trial. They claimed that a joint charge against them and other defendants for the alleged offences committed together did not mean that they could not have separate trial since other defendants would not be prejudiced.
The ex-governor and his son informed the court that their trial outside Dasuki would guarantee their constitutional rights to a speedy trial within a reasonable time in line with Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution. They claimed that the trial, which started since 2015 could not make progress because of the various motions filed by other defendants whom they claimed, had led to constant delay. They further claimed that the continued detention of Dasuki by DSS and the inability to bring him to court for trial had negatively affected the trial causing delays that had affected their businesses and daily lives. The judge, Justice Husseni Baba-Yusuf dismissed the motion, saying that it had been overtaken by events, especially with the presence of Dasuki in court this Thursday. “Those with the power to produced Dasuki in court for trial along with Bafarawa, son, and other defendants have already produced him in court and I hope they will continue to produce him,’’ he said. The judge held that it would be speculative to assume that Dasuki would not be present in court on the subsequent trial dates. He adjourned the matter until Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 for definite hearing.