Former Minister of State for Finance Bashir Yuguda, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammed Dasuki, former Sokoto Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and three others have been ordered remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Also to be kept with the EFCC are former Finance and Administration Director in the office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu and a son of the ex-Sokoto State governor, Sagir Attahiru.
Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ordered their remand yesterday after the five men were arraigned with a company allegedly linked with Sagir – Dalhatu Investment Limited.
They were arraigned on a 22-count charge of breach of public trust in relation to alleged diversion of public funds and acceptance of proceed of crime estimated at about N18billion.
The defendants pleaded not guilty when each count of the charge was read to them.
Shortly after their plea was taken, the lead prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), urged the court to fix a date for the trial.
Jacobs told the court that the defence lawyers filed a bail application on behalf of their clients.
He said the prosecution opposed the bail application filed by the defence.
Defence lawyers – Peter Akpe (SAN), Ahmed Raji (SAN), Joshua Olatoke (SAN), Hakeem Afolabi (SAN) and A. U. Mustapha – confirmed Jacob’s position.
Justice Affen ordered that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody, pending hearing of their bail application.
He adjourned till 12 noon today for the hearing of the bail application and the prosecution’s counter affidavit.
Dasuki and Salisu were, in count 1, accused of transferring N3.350b from the NSA’s account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the account of Dalhatu Investment Limited with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) “purporting same to be payment for the supply of security equipment and thereby committed an offence under Section 315 of Penal Code Act”.
Bafarawa, Sagir and Dalhatu Investment were, in counts 3 and 4, accused of receiving “proceeds of crime” in their alleged acceptance of the N3.350b from Dasuki and Salisu.
In count 16, Dasuki, Salisu and Yuguda were accused of transferring N1.1b “to the account of Jabbama Ada Globaal Services Nigeria Limited for the purpose of financing the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections.”
In count 19, Dasuki and Salisu were said to have “dishonestly misappropriated” N1.675b which they allegedly “transferred to the account of Vibrant Resources Limited controlled by Abubakar Dasuki, the younger brother of Dasuki” and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code.
This is the third case involving Dasuki. He was earlier this year arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja for illegal arms possession and money laundering.
He was again arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf of the High Court of the FCT, with four others, on a 19-count charge of “criminal breach of public trust” and diversion of public funds estimated at N13.5billion.