A startling revelation has been made about how a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, diverted a whooping N4.6 billion he received as security fund from the Office of the ex- National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, to other non-security issues, engaging people to pray for him and against insecurity.
A second Prosecution Witness (PW2) in the trial of Bafarawa, Kassim Yusuf, on Tuesday, made the revelation before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Persecondnews reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Bafarawa on amended 25-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and diversion of public funds to the tune of N4.6 billion.
Other defendants in the case are, Bashir Yuguda, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Dalhatu Investment Limited and Sagir Attahiru.
Yusuf, an officer of the EFCC, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told the court that N4.6 billion security funds received by Dalhatu Investment Ltd from Dasuki were used to sponsor Sokoto State indigenes on Muslim pilgrimage and finance Bafarawa’s 2015 presidency quest, as well as offset his overseas mortgage.
It was also used for the acquisition of expensive vehicles comprising Lexus, Toyota Hilux pickups and 16 Peugeot 206 cars for Peoples Democratic Party, PDP local government chairmen in the state.
The PW2 further revealed that N1 billion was given out from the sum to about 10 Bureau De Change, BDC operators for conversion to dollars.
He told the court: “About 10 BDCs said Dalhatu Investment Limited sent somebody to collect the money and about N800 million was transferred to Dalhatu Investment Ltd’s domiciliary account to be converted to dollars.
“Funds were paid to a company called Development Strategy International Ltd. The directors of the company are Islam Wali and Muhammad Wali who are cousins to Ambassador Abdullahi Wali.”
The witness also revealed that Wali received the sum of N558 million from Dalhatu Investment Ltd, which Bafarawa released to him for his 2015 Sokoto State gubernatorial aspiration.
“The Lexus that was purchased was bought by Dalhatu Investment for Abdullahi Wali’s election. Muazu Madawaki who received N322 million was also invited. He told the investigation team that the money was for payment for Umra and Hajj allowances, hotel accommodation and flight tickets for some Sokoto State pilgrims.
“Ahmed Yahya received N327 million and when he was invited, he said the money was for political activities. He is the personal assistant to Bafarawa.
“Ibrahim Maigana received N111 million from Dalhatu Investment for political activities in Sokoto State. He was the Chairman of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, at that time.
“One Musa Soba received N85 million on behalf of nine aspirants in the state for the House of Representatives”, he said.
The witness further informed the court that one Muhammad Gambol supplied the Toyota Hilux pickups and 16 Peugeot 206 for the political campaigns of Ambassador Wali.
“I recovered about 14 of those PDP local government chairmen’s cars. One Amanze Obi received the sum of N15.3 million for political publicity for Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa Presidential campaign. About £123,000 (One Hundred and Twenty-three Thousand Pounds) was transferred to the United Kingdom to offset a mortgage for Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.
“We wrote back to the National Security Adviser, Major General Muhammad Mungonu, and he confirmed that the monies were simply diverted without executing the project,” he said.
Justice Halilu has adjourned the continuation of trial until April 14, 2024.