A former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, is angry with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly singling him out for trial over the N600million cash given to six leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.
The ex-governor wants to know why Chief Jim Nwobodo (South-East), Dr. Peter Odili (South-South), Chief Bode George (South-West), Alhaji Yerima Abdullahi (North-East), and Col. Ahmadu Ali (North-Central) who allegedly shared in the money are excluded from trial.
He says each of the presidential election contact chairmen for the six (6) geo-political zones was given N100million.
Bafarawa, in a petition on his ordeal to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) alleged selective corruption prosecution against “my son, Sagir Attahiru and I by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”He said the action of the anti-corruption agency “leaves little to be desired and is discriminatory against me.”
Continuing, he said: “In 2015, I alongside five (5) other persons was among other presidential election contact Chairmen for the six (6) geo-political zones in the country.
“The six persons appointed were Sen. Jim Nwobodo (South-East), Dr Peter Odili (South-South), Chief Bode George (South-West), Alhaji Yerima Abdullahi (North-East), Col. Ahmadu Ali (North-Central) and myself (North-West). We were given N100million each by a former Minister State Finance, Bashir Yuguda and were directed to disburse same to the state elders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in our zones for campaign expenses.
“We were not given any information that it was Federal Government money but since this happened after PDP has raised money for campaign I believed it was from it that this money was given to us.
“l am Nigerian citizen and a senior at that. That manner in which the EFCC has persecuted me in the name of prosecution is a cause for alarm. May I note that I am not saying I am above the law but I think it is only conscionable for me to be tried for whatever offence I am accused of committing within the ambits of the law instead of the media trial I have been subjected to in the hands of EFCC.
“What is the rationale to single me out for prosecution while others in the same category with me are left not prosecuted. What is the rationale of EFCC to be prosecuting me without investigating and prosecuting those who are the beneficiaries of the funds.“In a civilized society, I ought to be a witness to the prosecution to enable the government get its money back from the people whom I paid assuming it is Federal Government’s money.
“I urge the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice to conduct an investigation into this complaint and make the necessary recommendations so that my family will stop being dragged in the mud and to enable the cause of Justice have its proper way.”
Bafarawa, who released the list of those he gave his own share of N100million, said he added extra N200, 000 to what was disbursed to him by the ex-Minister.
He said: “On my part, I disbursed the said money to PDP Chairmen in my zone with even an additional N200, 000 totaling N1.2million only between January 12, 2015 and March 17,2015. Upon which I am expecting a refund before my arrest.”
He listed the beneficiaries as:
Kebbi State: Abdullahi Yelwa—0050222873 – Access Bank Mobile No. 08037882327 (N15,600,000.00) 12/1/2015 (Transfer)
Jigawa State: Bashir M. Daihatu—1003873037 Zenith Bank Mobile No 08063029297 (N15,600,000.00) 12/02/2015 (Transfer )
Zamfara State: Bala Mohammed Mande 1001340999 Keystone Bank Mobile No. 07064886648 (N15,700,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )
Kaduna State: Senator Musa Bello-0025256324 -Diamond Bank Mobile No. 08033078989 (N16,200,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )
Kano State: Habibu Shuaibu—1002417106 Zenith Bank Mobile No. 08033243111 (N15,100,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )
Katsina State: Amb. Adamu Saidu Daura—1002074068 Keystone Bank -Mobile No. 08032877665 (N15,700,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer)
Sokoto State: Engr. Mohammad Tori —Mobile No. 08035868876 (N3,300,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Cash)
J Sokoto State : Ahmad Mohd Gusau -Mobile No. 08033034233 (N3,000,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Cash)
“It is thus baffling to see that l was the only one who was arrested and being prosecuted for an offence I did not commit. The money l got was meant for the purpose of the 2015 elections and same was utilized for the purpose.
“The EFCC did not deem it fit to invite the persons to which I disbursed the money to. Just like the others, I am an agent of a disclosed principal but due to whatever personal scores the EFCC has with me, I am the only one who has been made a subject of ridicule by the EFCC.
“You will recall that a chieftain in Ondo State, Chief Olu Falae, also got some certain amount of money but the EFCC has not deemed it fit to prosecute him. What made my case worse is the fact that I did not spend a kobo for myself in the said sum of money but disbursed it as instructed.
“ The Gestapo manner with which the EFCC operatives stormed my apartment at 6.00am on 19th November, 2015 at Usuma Street Maitama, Abuja is one which would create an impression that l have committed a capital offence even when l have not committed any. The operatives neither presented a warrant of arrest nor a court order giving them authority to arrest me.
“Fortunately, l was not in the country when this happened but through phone call l caused my lawyers, Lateef Fagbemi SAN & CO to write a letter to the EFCC on the 25th November, 2015 informing them of my intention to honour the invitation on my return to the country while also protesting the illegal invasion of my house.
“The letter is hereto attached as Annexure B for your attention. Upon my return to the country, | honoured the EFCC invitation on 1St of December, 2015 and l was detained for 3 weeks at the EFCC office before I was transferred to Kuje Prisons on the 22nd December, 2015, l was however released on bail.
“My travails in the hands of the EFCC continued despite the fact that I stated to the EFCC quite categorically how I disbursed the money in question on the instruction of the party. I gave EFCC names of persons I gave the money to, their bank account numbers (to which I disbursed the money) and their addresses.
“What I expected and what would have been the right thing to do was to invite the persons whom I disbursed the money to confirm the veracity or otherwise of my statement.
“The attempt by the EFCC to smear my hard earned name has been extended to my son, Sagir Attahiru, who disbursed funds (N4.5billion) given to him by NSA office only based on the instruction of the NSA.
“He was arrested by the EFCC on the 24th November, 2015 and detained for over a month and four days both at EFCC cell and Kuje Prisons before his release on bail on 28th December, 2015.
“My son, Sagir, only acted on the express instruction of Col. Dasuki as can be seen from the document which he has submitted to the EFCC.”