Former Sokoto GovernorAttahiru Bafarawa, will on July 31 know his fate whether he will be sent to prison or set free in a N15bn fraud allegation leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
When the case came up Wednesday at the Sokoto High Court , Justice Bello Abbas who had fixed July 4 for judgment, was said to be out of jurisdiction for official engagement.
Justice Abbas, who is also the state Chief Judge, had on May 8 reserved the date for judgment in the nine-year old legal battle between Bafarawa and the anti-graft commission.
However, counsel to the two parties in the case were informed that the judge was out of the state on an official assignment.
They subsequently agreed to return to court on July 31, for the judgment.
The former Governor is facing a 33-count charge bordering on corruption, illegal sale of government shares, misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, receiving stolen properties and unauthorised payments allegedly committed between 2003 and 2007.
Also being prosecuted alongside him are Beedash Nigeria Ltd, Nasdalbap Nigeria Ltd, Nasiru Bafarawa and Salihu Maibuhu-Gummi.
Both counsel had adopted their written addresses before the last adjournment.
At the hearing on May 8, the lead defence counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), argued that the complainant had not provided any evidence in respect of the 11 of the charges against his client to warrant conviction.
He contended that the law requires that evidence in criminal offences must be clear and beyond reasonable doubt.
Fagbemi prayed the court to regard Mr Bafarawa as “an honest complainant turned accused’’ in view of the fact that he first reported the fraud case to EFCC in 2006.
According to him, Mr Bafarawa took the right step as whistle blower before circumstances turned against him to become the accused.
He urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused on the ground that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
In his submission, the EFCC lead counsel, Jacob Ochidi, prayed the court to consider the evidences provided in the course of the trial and convict Bafarawa accordingly.
The court had earlier discharged and acquitted Munti Trade Global Concept and Bashir Mamman-Nasarawa, who were among those joined in the original suit.