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Sunday , 24 September 2017

How & Why late Dasuki was removed as Sultan of Sokoto

Ibrahim Dasuki was the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, he was deposed in 1996 during the regime of General Sani Abacha. He  succeeded Sultan Abubakar, the father of the current Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar.

Prior to becoming Sultan, he held the traditional title of Baraden Sokoto. Dasuki was the first Sultan from the Buhari line of the house of Dan Fodio.

After the death of Abubakar Siddique, the 17th Sultan of Sokoto on November 1, 1988, Dasuki was among the leading contenders to become the new Sultan.

Some of his opponents included Shehu Malami and Muhammadu Maccido, who later succeeded him.

Maccido was the son of Abubakar Siddique and he was popular among the populace in Sokoto.

But Mr. Dasuki was close to the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida and on Dec. 6, 1988, he was announced as the new Sultan to the dismay of some in Sokoto.

The announcement led to five days of rioting in which 10 people died.

Abacha had an axe to grind with Dasuki, so says Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo, the deposed Emir of Gwandu.
Jokolo in the second part of his exclusive interview with Sunday Sun which begun last week claimed that disagreement over an undisclosed amount of money, which was held in a Swiss bank account was partly responsible for the deposition of Dasuki by Abacha.

While denying playing any role in the removal of Dasuki as was widely reported, he said Abacha had issues with Dasuki before becoming Head of State over some funds which were being held in a Swiss accout.

According to him, “Aliyu Dasuki, his (Ibrahim) newphew and son-in-law who is married to his daughter was classmate to General Abacha in Kano. I don’t know whether primary or secondary. They were classmates and friends. It was Abacha who introduced Aliyu to General Babangida. And through him, Aliyu was getting contracts, military contracts. He was a businessman. Now, Aliyu was very close to Abacha.

“Only God knows what went on between the two of them. So, any business that was going on, Aliyu was the front. So, Aliyu became sick, terminal illness, he eventually died. Abacha came to claim that there was some money that Aliyu was keeping for him in a Swiss account. Sultan Dasuki was then the Sultan of Sokoto. Sultan Dasuki told him that if it was true that he had any money with Aliyu, he should swear to an oath, then he would arrange for them to get the money. That is the Qu’aranic injunction, that if a person dies and you want to make any claim out of his possession, you have to swear an oath. Sultan Dasuki was justified in that.

But Abacha felt this was business between two friends which was an illegal business which did not require oath. They did not swear to any oath because it violates the Qu’aranic injunction. If you did business, you should record it in writing, but they did not. There was no evidence for Sultan Dasuki to give this money to Abacha.”

That is the Qu’aranic injunction, that if a person dies and you want to make any claim out of his possession, you have to swear an oath. Sultan Dasuki was justified in that. But Abacha felt this was business between two friends which was an illegal business which did not require oath. They did not swear to any oath because it violates the Qu’aranic injunction. If you did business, you should record it in writing, but they did not. There was no evidence for Sultan Dasuki to give this money to Abacha. That brought bad blood between the two of them. Another thing was that Alhaji Alhaji was to be made Sardauna of Sokoto by Sultan Dasuki. It was on a Friday and Abacha was to represent General Babangida and he came late. It was getting to 12 noon and the ceremony was supposed to have started around 9. 0’clock. At 12 noon, we had just two hours to go to mosque for the Friday prayers. And the ceremony could not have been finished within that time. It was after 12 noon that Abacha arrived. They were waiting for him up to 12 noon. When they saw that the time was not on their side, they started the ceremony. So, Sultan Dasuki was justified by asking them to proceed with the ceremony and Abacha did not take kindly to that.

Immediately he (Abacha) came and discovered that the function was taking place, he just gave Babangida’s letter to somebody to deliver to the Sultan. He turned round, went to the airport and flew back to Abuja. That again infuriated Abacha. Again, there was bad blood between Sambo Dasuki and Abacha because Sambo was telling Babangida the true picture of the situation of the Army. Sambo was ADC to Babangida and things were now going wrong within the military and Sambo was telling Babangida what problems there were, occasionally driving Babangida, the two of them alone, to the Barracks to show him what short coming there were.

Abacha was Chief of Army Staff. Abacha got to know that Sambo was reporting what was going on to Babangida. Maybe, IBB confronted Abacha. By the time he knew Sambo was responsible for that, Babangida and Sambo were on medical check up in France. That was when Babangida was with Radiculopathy or whatever it is called. Abacha got Sambo posted out of Dodan Barracks without even Babangida knowing to somewhere in Onitsha or Ohafia or somewhere in the East. When they came back, Babangida rescinded the posting and that was a stab in the back for Abacha as far as he (Abacha) was concerned. I am trying to make you see the problem did not start overnight. Eventually, they got Sambo removed from the position and Sambo was lucky to go to Ameica to do his Staff College and degree programme there.

Did Abacha collect the money he said was in Aliyu Dasuki’s account?
I don’t know. Ask Dasuki when you see him. Now, when Abacha became Head of State, Ibrahim Dasuki was still the Sultan of Sokoto. The relationship between Abacha and Dasuki was already at its lowest ebb. The first person Abacha posted to Sokoto as the Military Administrator was his Military Assistant, Lieutenant Yakubu Muazu, who was very close to him

That is the Qu’aranic injunction, that if a person dies and you want to make any claim out of his possession, you have to swear an oath. Sultan Dasuki was justified in that. But Abacha felt this was business between two friends which was an illegal business which did not require oath. They did not swear to any oath because it violates the Qu’aranic injunction. If you did business, you should record it in writing, but they did not. There was no evidence for Sultan Dasuki to give this money to Abacha. That brought bad blood between the two of them. Another thing was that Alhaji Alhaji was to be made Sardauna of Sokoto by Sultan Dasuki. It was on a Friday and Abacha was to represent General Babangida and he came late. It was getting to 12 noon and the ceremony was supposed to have started around 9. 0’clock. At 12 noon, we had just two hours to go to mosque for the Friday prayers. And the ceremony could not have been finished within that time. It was after 12 noon that Abacha arrived. They were waiting for him up to 12 noon. When they saw that the time was not on their side, they started the ceremony. So, Sultan Dasuki was justified by asking them to proceed with the ceremony and Abacha did not take kindly to that.

Immediately he (Abacha) came and discovered that the function was taking place, he just gave Babangida’s letter to somebody to deliver to the Sultan. He turned round, went to the airport and flew back to Abuja. That again infuriated Abacha. Again, there was bad blood between Sambo Dasuki and Abacha because Sambo was telling Babangida the true picture of the situation of the Army. Sambo was ADC to Babangida and things were now going wrong within the military and Sambo was telling Babangida what problems there were, occasionally driving Babangida, the two of them alone, to the Barracks to show him what short coming there were.

Abacha was Chief of Army Staff. Abacha got to know that Sambo was reporting what was going on to Babangida. Maybe, IBB confronted Abacha. By the time he knew Sambo was responsible for that, Babangida and Sambo were on medical check up in France. That was when Babangida was with Radiculopathy or whatever it is called. Abacha got Sambo posted out of Dodan Barracks without even Babangida knowing to somewhere in Onitsha or Ohafia or somewhere in the East. When they came back, Babangida rescinded the posting and that was a stab in the back for Abacha as far as he (Abacha) was concerned. I am trying to make you see the problem did not start overnight. Eventually, they got Sambo removed from the position and Sambo was lucky to go to Ameica to do his Staff College and degree programme there.

Did Abacha collect the money he said was in Aliyu Dasuki’s account?
I don’t know. Ask Dasuki when you see him. Now, when Abacha became Head of State, Ibrahim Dasuki was still the Sultan of Sokoto. The relationship between Abacha and Dasuki was already at its lowest ebb. The first person Abacha posted to Sokoto as the Military Administrator was his Military Assistant, Lieutenant Yakubu Muazu, who was very close to him

There was a day Abacha sent for me and when I went there, Gwarzo confronted me with some documents. Mua’zu was also called. When I looked at the documents, they were from NDIC. The NDIC is supposed to be the policeman of Banks. In it, they found there are two companies-Afrofin and Afro-Continental which Sultan Dasuki had some interest in and he was a Director in one of the two companies. Aliyu Dasuki was the Chairman who was his in-law and nephew. One Mr. Goorn, a Jew from Switzerland was also there in the business. In the documents from NDIC, it was shown that they secured some facilities from NEXIM –Nigeria Export, Import Bank to provide some Agricultural machineries to the then Gongola State and also to set up a food processing company in Lagos. They did not do that; the bank was having problem and NDIC was investigating them. They collected the money from the bank, but did not pay back and the bank was collapsing and having problems.

As a result of this, NDIC, in the course of investigations, found out these short-comings. The Managing Director of NDIC now wrote to Gwarzo. Under normal circumstances, they will just take people to court without reference to the National Security Adviser (NSA). But because Sultan’s name appeared as a Director in these companies they now wrote to Gwarzo asking, ‘Please what do we do? We want to take these people to court but the name of Sultan is involved.’ So, Abacha had an opportunity which he has been looking for. Dasuki was then the Sultan of Sokoto and Abacha was the Head of State. So to Abacha, the golden opportunity had come for him to hit back and that was the point I was called in. Abacha said he was going to arraign Sultan Dasuki before a tribunal; the Failed Banks Tribunal that his company was involved in a problem with NDIC and NEXIM. That was when they said I was next in line of the caliphate, so I should be briefed that they were going to ask people to take him to the tribunal.

When I saw it, I said ‘Over my dead body. I would not accept that. I would not have anybody take Sultan to tribunal. If you do that, I am not the Emir of Gwandu. You look for somebody else and make him the Emir of Gwandu. I will not have that’. Gwarzo is alive, Mua’zu is alive, only Abacha is dead. Then, they said ‘Well, we are not going to let go this matter’. That was how they decided that he was going to be removed as the Sultan of Sokoto. They removed him so as not to take him take him to the Failed Banks Tribunal. That was my involvement in his removal. Everybody kept saying that I was responsible. Yes, I was aware of it, but I did not initiate it and I did not facilitate his removal. But I was there when this thing happened. Even when they said they were going to remove him, I asked them to give me time to think about it.

I drove to Zaria and mentioned this thing to the Emir of Zazzau. I called the Etsu Nupe, late Etsu Nupe. I told him about this too and told him that Sultan Dasuki was going to be removed. I told the Emir of Zazzau too that the Sultan of Sokoto was going to be removed. The Emir of Zazzau told me he would consult with the Emir Kano on this issue. I did not hear anything from them again. The Etsu Nupe drove to Sokoto to discuss this with Sultan. He mentioned this to him. The next thing I knew was that Sultan Dasuki sent my auntie that he married to my house that this was what they were told. I said ‘I don’t know anything about it because I can’t discuss this with her’. I don’t discuss official matters with women. Maybe my mistake was that I didn’t go to him to talk to him. But I had no business talking to him.

You drove all the way to Zaria and you could not stop over in Sokoto to discuss with the Sultan?
I told you we were not the best of friends. Remember that I said he didn’t support me so, why should I? I did the best I could for him. There was no way I could stop that removal. They were bent on taking him as Sultan to the Failed Banks Tribunal. I told of Abacha’s money, I told you of other incidents. Nobody could stop that. You don’t know Abacha? So, what else could I do? I had already informed other Emirs of this. I drove myself to Zaria to sit down with the Emir of Zazzau to tell him what was going on and he said he was going to talk to the Emir of Kano to discuss with him. I was aware the day he was going to be removed. There is no doubt about it. The Board of the company put up a defence for Dasuki. They wrote a letter to the NDIC that Sultan Dasuki had resigned from the Board.

But when NDIC checked the Corporate Affairs Commission to confirm this, there was no document reflecting his resignation. So, the NSA found it difficult to believe. I knew he was going to be removed. But when he was removed, naturally the kingmakers were informed and told to wait for me because the natural order is that any Sultan appointed, the first person to pay homage to him is the Emir of Gwandu. It was like that right from the time of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio. It was Abdullahi Fodio that first paid homage to Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, followed by Bello and Umaru Alkamu. It’s there in a book written by Abdullahi Fodio.

When I was called, I saw that they had already selected the people. I asked the Waziri of Sokoto, late Magajin Gari, late Magaji Rafi and other kingmakers. They briefed me on what they had done. Then I called one of them. The Waziri was too old. So, I asked one of them ‘Who is your choice?’ I didn’t even know who they chose. The man said ‘I will not tell you; you will not hear from me. If you want to hear, go and ask my superiors’. So, I said ‘Okay, I will hear’. When I got to know later, Mua’zu told me that they had made their selections. Another thing was that when he was taken to Zing, I did not know. It was later that I knew.

So, I went to General Abacha in the presence of late Sultan Maccido and pleaded with him to allow Sultan Dasuki to go back home. He turned that down. Justice Bashir Sambo is aware of this because I told him. He (Abacha) was still pursuing him, that he was going to prosecute him.

 

 

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