By NBF News

I didn't jump bail -Bafarawa
From AMOS DUNIA, Abuja
Wednesday, March 3 , 2010

Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa

In spite of the quashing of the bail earlier granted him by a Sokoto High Court, former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, yesterday declared that he would never become a fugitive from the law. Accordingly, Alhaji Bafarawa stressed unequivocally that he did not jump bail and neither does he intend to, adding that he would not run away from his country because of the issues that he has in court with the EFCC.

Bafarawa stated further: 'I am too distinguished and honourable to run away from the law and from my country. I will never, ever run away. I will make myself available in court at any time that I am required to do so. You would remember that I attended the court sitting even when the judicial workers were on strike and the court session could not hold.'

Alhaji Bafarawa, who stated these in a statement he issued from London where he had gone for medical check up, said the court's decision revoking his bail and subsequent declaration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declaring him wanted, came to him as a surprise.

The former Sokoto State governor explained that he did not refuse to appear in court as alleged by the EFCC, adding that his counsel Ricky Tarfa (SAN) briefed the court that he (Bafarawa) travelled out of the country on February 28 for medical checkup.

According to Bafarawa; 'I sent my lawyer (Ricky Tarfa) with my letter that I have medical appointment to keep with my doctor in London. The lawyer tendered the letter but unfortunately, the presiding judge rejected it. It is, therefore, surprising to me that the EFCC said and the court agreed that I jumped bail.

'How could I have jumped bail when my lawyer, who represented me in court, knew and still knows my movement and he presented a letter to that effect in court? What the EFCC wants is to prosecute a living Bafarawa and not a dead one.'

Alhaji Bafarawa, therefore, said the issue of his health should be of paramount importance to both the EFCC and himself, stressing that the truth and justice of the matter can be ascertained.

He, therefore, assured that he would be back in the country ahead of the March 17 adjourned date given by the court immediately after his medical check-up to face the legal challenges saying; 'I wish to be in court on March 17.'

The anti-graft agency (EFCC) had charged Alhaji Bafarawa to court over allegations of corruption amounting to N15 billion.

The Sokoto High Court presided by Justice Abbas had on Monday rejected the reasons given by the counsel to Alhaji Bafarawa, Mr. Tarfa (SAN), over his non-appearance in court and thus granted the prayer of EFCC's counsel, Niyi Akintola (SAN), by revoking the earlier bail granted to the former Sokoto State governor.