- seek for separate trial
Former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Attahiru and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Ltd have applied for a separate trial from former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki in the ongoing alleged diversion of $2.1bn arms fund prosecution.
The ex-Governor and his son who are 4th, 5th and 6th defendants in the criminal charge slammed on them by government in 2015 are claiming that the joint trial with others is oppressive to them.
In their motion brought before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court, and argued by their counsel, Dr. Kayode Olatoke SAN, the former governor and his son claimed that they can be separately tried outside Dasuki to ensure speedy and accelerated trial of the offences allegedly committed by them.
They further claimed that filing a joint charge against them and others for the alleged offences allegedly committed together was not a bar to their being prosecuted separately as none of the parties involved in the trial will be jeopardize.
Besides, Bafarawa and his son insisted that their separate trial outside Dasuki will guarantee their constitutional rights to a speedy trial within reasonable time in line with section 36 of the 1999 constitution.
In a 15 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, the applicants claimed that since the trial began in 2015 no reasonable progress had been made because other parties had brought different motion to the court to challenge jurisdiction and to have the charges quashed.
In the affidavit deposed to by one Bolatito Oguntoye, they asserted that they are ready and willing to assist the court with speedy trial if their charge was separated from others.
In the counter motion filed by the EFCC and argued by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, he claimed that Bafarawa, his son and their family company, Dalhatu Investment Ltd were properly joined with Dasuki, Bashiru Yuguda and Shuaibu Salisu for their joint roles in the diversion of the public fund and for conspiracy.
Jacobs informed the court that Dalhatu investment owned by Bafarawa and his son was the receiver of the alleged stolen fund into its UBA bank account and that once their charge with Dasuki is separated it would be practically and legally impossible to prove the Case of conspiracy.
Also opposing the motion for separate trial former National Security Adviser. Col. Sambo Dasuki said that his joint trial with Bafarawa and others is not negotiable because of the nature and circumstances of the charges.
Dasuki who was represented in court by Adeola Adedipe argued that Bafarawa and his son cannot be tried outside him without fundamental amendment to the present charge against them, adding that the offence of conspiracy cannot be tried separately.