A former governor of Sokoto State and one time presidential candidate of the defunct Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has vowed to stand by the embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), no matter the level of intimidation or threat from the Federal Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had laid siege on Bafarawa’s residence as early as 6am on Thursday, in what has been interpreted as an arm-twisting tactic to get the former governor to abandon Dasuki.
The former NSA is facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms and alleged retention of funds, contrary to Section 15 (2)(d) of Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
While most people would prefer to keep at arms’ length the former NSA, Mr. Bafarawa has been sighted at least on two occasions, accompanying Mr. Dasuki to court for his trial.
Ex-Gov. Bafarawa and 15 others, mostly his aides while he was a governor, are currently facing trial for alleged misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N15 billion.
But in a statement issued Friday by his spokesman, Yusuf Dingyadi, Bafarawa described the siege as “political intimidation and persecution” because of his political choice and association.
“No amount of intimidation or persecution by any of the federal government security agencies can stop former governor Bafarawa from his resolve to support and sympathise with any person he wishes to align with”, Dingyadi stated.
Mr. Bafarawa, who defected from the All Progressives Congress to Peoples Democratic Party in 2014, recalled that he suffered similar political persecution when he supported President Muhammadu Buhari in 2007, saying he was once bundled out of a meeting in Abuja and taken to a prison in Sokoto.
He said for over eight years of standing trial at Sokoto High Court over alleged corrupt practices, the ant-graft agency could not establish a case against him.
The former governor, therefore, said he would be ready to appear before the EFCC at anytime the commission summons him.
“If EFCC has anything against Bafarawa let them present it to the court of law instead of becoming a tool of victimisation in order to deter him from his constitutional role of free association and expression”, the aide added.
It was gathered that when the EFCC operatives, supported by armed mobile policemen, laid siege on the former governor’s residence in Abuja, he was away in the United States on vacation but has declared readiness to return to the country in view of recent developments.