Court Reserves Judgment on Graft Charge against Bafarawa July 4

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By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
A Sokoto State High Court presided by Justice Bello Abbas has reserved judgment on the 33-count graft charge preferred against a former governor of the state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) till July 4, 2018.
Other defendants include Bafarawa’s younger brother, Nasiru, Beedash Nigeria Limited, Nasdalbap Nigeria Limited and Salihu Maibuhu-Gummi.
Bafarawa and four others are facing charges bordering on unlawful sale of shares belonging to the state government, misappropriation of public funds and criminal breach of trust as well as receiving stolen properties allegedly committed between 2003 and 2007 when he was the governor of the state.
Justice Abbas adjourned the case till July 4 for judgment after counsel to the two parties adopted their written addresses and closed their case.
Abbas however thanked the counsel for their patience, assuring them that justice would be done to their case.
Earlier at the resumed hearing Tuesday, the EFCC counsel. Mr. Jacob Ochidi, said efforts had been made to sufficiently prove the charges beside the 11-count charge mentioned.
He prayed the court to convict the accused persons based on testimonies and exhibits tendered before the court.
In his submission, the defence counsel, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), argued that the complainant abandoned the 11-count charge and that the ingredients needed to prove the remaining 22 charges were not sufficient enough to warrant conviction of the accused persons as law requires proving criminal offence beyond reasonable doubt.
He however urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused persons as the complainant had failed to prove the case against the defendants.
Fagbemi added that Bafarawa ought to be referred to as a “honest complainant turned accused person’’ because he was the first to report a fraud case to the EFCC in 2006.