Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on
Ten years after his removal, fresh insights have emerged on the circumstances that led to the deposition of Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki as the Sultan of Sokoto by the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.
Ten years after his removal, fresh insights have emerged on the circumstances that led to the deposition of Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki as the Sultan of Sokoto by the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.
Simply put, 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.”
But that was not all and Jokolo bared it all, even as he claimed that the raid on the residence of Chief Obafemi Awolowo was carried out on the instruction of General Ibrahim Babangida as Chief of Army Staff without the knowledge of General Muhammadu Buhari who was the Head of State.
He also spoke on the 53 suit cases saga involving his father and how the Buhari regime had no idea of how to run the government after seizing power from Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Here are the excerpts:
Let’s talk about the controversial 53 suit cases you claimed for your father, the then Emir of Gwandu, in 1984. What is your version of the story?
I have said several times in the last twenty something years that I was innocent of everything. Now, it has turned round that somebody like Prof. Wole Soyinka wrote a book saying that I was smarter than Vice President Atiku. It was wrong of Wole Soyinka to say it happened in Kano. Look, in 1984, my father traveled to London for medical check up. He had an entourage of about 13 people. After his operation, he moved to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, the lesser hajj. On his way back, he was on the same flight with Ambassador Dahiru Waziri who was the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia for six years.
He was appointed State Chief of Protocol and so, was moving back with his entire family. So, he decided to come with them on the same aircraft. Around that time, there was currency change because of the poor economy of the country and the naira was all over the place. We had no control over our economy. The government planned a secret operation to change the colour of the currency. All borders were closed and that was the time when this aircraft was landing. When it came in, I remember we were about to play squash with Buhari, Idiagbon and others.
Then Buhari asked me if my father was not coming back that day. I said ‘Yes sir, we have already sent people to bring him back’. He said ‘Are you not going to receive him?’ I said ‘No sir’ and he said I should go and receive him. He gave me orders to go and receive him.
So, I asked Captain Maitama who was the Commander of the Brigade of Guard to accompany me. So, two of us drove to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. While there, I saw some officers who were going on course to the United States. Colonel Walbe was the one who arranged that course.
While we were there, I was told that the aircraft had landed and was also told that they had some problems at the baggage area. When I went with Captain Maitama, I saw some Customs officers with some of our people and I asked what the problem was. They said that the Customs said that they were not allowed to check the luggage. I asked why, every luggage here should be checked. They said those ones on the ground had been checked, but that there were some that were taken away from the aircraft itself in a truck direct from the State House without coming through the customs area. I said whose luggage were they and they said it belong to State Protocol.
One ASP Saidu Gella who also was from Adamawa state like the Chief of Protocol was the Luggage officer in the State House. He was the one who went with Maigari to collect the luggage direct from the aircraft without coming through the Customs. I said ‘Is there anyway you can call them?’ Unfortunately, we do not have the mobile telephone at that time. I asked if they had walkie talkie and the said they had none.
So, I said I was not here for him and asked if they had cleared these ones and he said they had cleared them. ‘Can we go?’ and they said ‘You can go’. I swear to Almighty Allah, if there is anything other than this, may God strike me dead. May he not forgive me my sins. That was all that I knew about all that happened. The following day, we read in the newspapers that there were 35 suit cases that passed through Customs without clearance.
The Emir did not come with 35 suit cases. It was the Chief of Protocol, Dahiru Waziri, whose luggage were taken away from the aircraft straight to his house without going through customs. The Emir’s baggage were not more than 12. All of them had one piece each because they had landed them there. Whatever shopping they did before, they transported them from London in an aircraft and they received them. So, we had cleared their luggage before. At this time, they were in London when there was this ban. When they finished, before they left, there was this border closure.
They had nothing to do with the 35 suit cases. When we cleared their luggage, they had not closed the border and so, they came with single baggage of their dresses. We did not allow what was going on. Then, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the present Vice President was Area Administrator at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. He was the one who came on air to say it was an Emir from the North who brought not 35, but 53 suit cases. Onalaope Soleye was the Finance Minister. To date that I am talking to you, nobody has asked me to answer anything.
I think there was power play at that time and there were many interest groups. There were people who were trying to bring Buhari down. Buhari’s half brother was on the Emir’s entourage who was father to Alhaji Mamman, same mother with Buhari. People knew about it. So, he was the target. Then, they started mentioning the Emir of Daura, but it was Buhari’s brother who was in the group. Now, Ambassador Dahiru Waziri was colleague to Ambassador Rafindadi who was the Director General of NSO. On their own part, they were trying to cover the Ambassador.
Another angle to it was that Atiku was aiming to be Director of Customs, while Abubakar Musa was Director of Customs. If he was painted in bad light, if Atiku presented himself as the champion of the discovery, Abubakar Musa being from Sokoto, would be painted black and possibly he would be removed and automatically, Atiku would be made Director of Customs. So, you see, there were three interest groups. One, people who are trying to paint Buhari black by referring to the Emir of Daura in the accusation. There was a mention of the Emir of Daura, but they knew it was Buhari’s brother, but they didn’t have the courage to mention Buhari’s brother, Alhaji Dauda. There are people like Atiku who were out to get the Director of Customs and there was Rafindadi, the Director General of NSO who was trying to protect his own friend, the State Chief of Protocol whom he brought to Buhari.
He never knew State Chief of Protocol and since I was there, my father was not the victim, but me. To get access to Buhari, they had to get me first. This is all part of power play and the whole thing was like that. It was being sponsored within the military itself. For example, when Chief Awolowo’s house was searched, Buhari never knew about it. He read it on the pages of newspapers. It was carried out by a group of military officers who arranged for Chief Awolowo’s house to be searched. They knew Buhari would not come out to say ‘I didn’t order it’. So, it was power play and I had no opportunity to defend myself because I was not allowed to speak.
The removal of Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki during the Abacha administration was so controversial that people believe it was a product of a conspiracy between the government and people like you. What is your story?
I had wanted to keep this to myself, but it appears that for the purpose of posterity, I better let the world know what happened. Sultan Dasuki and I belong to Muhammadu Dan Fodio family. He belongs to the Sokoto ruling class through Usman Dan Fodio and I belong to Abdullahi Fodio. They are brothers, same father, and same mother. We have intertwined history between the two of us. His ancestor was Mallam Buhari who was elder brother to sultan Bello. He was brought up by my ancestor, Abdullahi Fodio. It used to be like that with Fulanis. You take your brother’s son and keep him with you and trained him and likewise, Abdullahi Fodio’s son who was Mallam Khalilu, the third Emir of Gwandu was brought up by Usman Dan Fodio.
Usman Dan Fodio and Abdullahi Fodio married sisters of the same father and mother. Abdullahi Fodio married the elder sister who gave birth to Muhammadu and Mallam Khalilu who were both Emir of Gwandu two and three after Mallam Abdullahi. Shehu Usman Dan Fodio married the younger sister who gave birth to Mallam Buhari. In Sultan Dasuki’s blood also is one of his grandmothers who was from Gwandu. Now, because of that relationship, his ancestor, Mallam Buhari was with Abdullahi Fodio. When there was this change, Bello was appointed Sultan and Mallam Abdullahi remained with Abdullahi Fodio who gave him part of Gwandu Emirate or empire which was Tambuwal and Dogondaji and up till now, the rulers of the place belong to the same family with Sultan Dasuki. That was the part of Gwandu that was given to their ancestors. Sultan Dasuki married my auntie who has the same grandfather with my father and my sister married his own son. I almost married his own daughter too. So, you see, we have that relationship between us. My father was very close to him. Anytime my father went to Sokoto, he was staying in the house of Sultan Dasuki.
Why didn’t you marry Dasuki’s daughter?
Well, God didn’t permit it. But when I was a cadet at NDA, because of that my auntie that he married, and because Sambo Dasuki was a cadet like me even though I was by far his senior, I brought myself to his level to the extent that we were always going out together because Sultan Dasuki came to NDA and asked me to look after Sambo for him. In reality, Sultan Dasuki is like a grand uncle to me if you follow the lineage. I just gave you the historical perspective. Now to come back to your question.
When I became Emir, he (Dasuki) was not really supportive of me. He supported Jega and I was not his candidate. For whatever reason, I don’t know. But his problem started from the time of our regime.
He was not sultan then. He was the Chairman of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). There was a time that bank was being investigated for money-laundering. A report was sent to my office in 1984 from the SIP (Special Investigation Panel) headed by Ismaila Gwarzo, who was NSA during Abacha’s time. When I read the report, I knew members of the board of directors were all to be apprehended the next week. It was a Friday. I went to Buhari after saying special prayers for God to give me power over Buhari so that he could listen to what I was going to say to him. He was having his lunch when I went to him. He was alone and I didn’t sit down.
He said ‘Mustapa, why don’t you sit down and eat?’ I said ‘I am very hungry sir, but I have no appetite’. He said ‘Is anything the problem?’ I said ‘Yes sir, I have a big problem’. He said ‘What is your problem?’ I said ‘I have just received a report from the SIP which showed that very soon, they are going to arrest Dasuki and co’. He said ‘Why?’ I said ‘Because of BCCI money-laundering’. He said ‘Well, what is your own there?’ I said ‘There is something sir’. One, he was only the chairman of the bank. He may not be aware of what was going on, especially since it had Indians and Pakistanis. Just being part-time chairman and he is an institution. I told Buhari that he was connected to him because his nephew Mamman Daura is married to his daughter. His son is married to my sister, that is Sambo, and he is married to my auntie. My father is very close to him and he was like my guardian when I was in the NDA. I was always going to his house with Sambo and I added that ‘Sir remember, we plotted this coup with Sambo.
He played an active role in it, even though he was in America on course. I don’t think it will be very nice during our administration, Sir, for members of the board to be arrested.’ Buhari said as far as he was concerned, he was going to do his duty no matter who was concerned. I said ‘No sir, even God Almighty who created us Has people who worship other things other than him. When they pray to him, they will say forgive us and he would forgive them. I will not have you, Sir, arrest them with me here. Please drop that.’ He said ‘Okay, I will think about it.’ That was what saved Dasuki’s board at that time.
Secondly, I was again in my office one morning when there was a call from the airport. Imani Aviation Captain phoned me to tell me that some soldiers came and arrested Sultan Dasuki who was Baradin Sokoto at that time. I said which soldiers, he could not give account. I think he mentioned soldiers from the airport or military whatever. But it was Dasuki who gave them my number that I should be alerted. He was not Sultan then because he became Sultan in 1988 and I am talking of 1984 or 1985. So, I quickly went to Buhari and said ‘Sir, we have a problem, Baradin has been arrested.’ He said ‘By who?’ I said I didn’t know, I was called by a pilot of Imani Aviation. He said I should go and enquire. I phoned DG, NSA and he said they were not the ones. I phoned General Akilu who was a Lieutenant Colonel at that time and Director of Military Intelligence and he too said they were not the ones. When I started making these enquiries, then he was released. So, to date, we don’t know who really arrested him.
There was also an incident where one of his close associate’s cousin, they call him Ibrahim Katuni, was arrested too. I think he was a Director of BCCI. When Katuni was arrested, Sultan Dasuki’s son, Ahmed, came to my office and told me that ‘Please, I think he was released but they refused to give him his passport’. So, Ahmed came to me and said that Katuni wanted an appointment to see me in the office. So, I said ‘What is wrong with Ahmed? Katuni is like my father. How can somebody like him come and look for appointment with me? Anytime he wants me to see him, I will come and see him’. I asked where he was and he said he was in Ikoyi Hotel. So, I drove to Ikoyi with Ahmed and we met him. I said ‘Sir, what is the problem?’ He said ‘Look, I have my passport confiscated by the NSO and I want to go for medical check up. Can you please help get that passport?’ I said ‘You will get it today by the grace of God’. I drove back to the office and phoned the DG, NSO to enquire whether he has Katuni’s passport and he said yes. I said I want him released and he said no. I said we came into this situation because this man is like my uncle. I am vouching for him that he will come back. He is a man of honour and will not run away. He need medical attention, so allow him to go. If he doesn’t come back, arrest me. He said okay, he was taking my words for it and sending the passport to me.
There is another incidence again when his own daughter Zainab phoned me from Kano that her husband, late Brigadier Abbas Wali, was arrested at Kano airport. Dasuki’s daughter, elder sister to Sambo Dasuki, married late Brigadier Wali and they were living in Kano. Brigadier Wali retired during our administration and he was elder brother to Dr. Wali. One other Wali was Permanent Secretary. So, when he phoned me, this man had one leg because he lost a leg during the civil war. He was even senior to General Buhari. So, I imagined how anybody could arrest somebody who lost his leg during the war. So, I said it can’t be possible. We don’t know about it. So, I phoned Kano and it was difficult to get Kano. So, in the morning, we were having breakfast with General Buhari. I said ‘Sir, I got a phone from the wife of Brigadier Wali saying he has been arrested’. He (Buhari) said I should find out who arrested him. So, I called NSO, Military Intelligence, Gwarzo.
All of them said they didn’t arrest Wali. So, I phoned the wife and told her her husband was not arrested. She insisted he was arrested. The next day was Friday and Sultan Dasuki, still Baradin, phoned me. He said ‘Mustapha, Abbas has been arrested’. I said ‘Sir, this was what happened, but I also want you to hold on, I have hotline in my office’. I phoned DG, NSO and said ‘I have Baradin on the line with me now. He is confirming to me that Brigadier Abbas Wali has been arrested’. He checked up with his deputy who was (Chief Albert) Horsefall who confirmed to him that he was not arrested. So, I told Dasuki that he was not arrested. It was Ramadan time and on Saturday, I went to General Babangida who was the Chief of Army Staff. I said ‘Sir, this is the situation and this is what is going on. Do you anything about it?’ He said it wouldn’t have been possible because he authorized Brigadier Wali to go to London for medical treatment. He should be somewhere in London.
On Tuesday, Buhari called me and said ‘Mustapha, what you said is true. I had already forgotten about it’. I said ‘Sir, what is it?’ He said Brigadier Wali was arrested. I said ‘What! By who?’ He said one Bishara, an NSO man, arrested him in Kano without anybody knowing and locked him up in their centre for one week. He was in detention without anybody knowing. So, General Buhari asked me to go and bring him because they had released him. I should ask him to come with Dr Wali who was our own doctor. His brother, same father, same mother was Chief Physician to General Buhari. The purpose was to come to break fast with us and I said ‘Yes sir’. I went and told Dr. Wali, ‘You go and bring your brother and tell him to come and break fast with the Head of State. I am not coming for that breakfast. It is too embarrassing for me to face this man after all that has happened’. So, you can now see the cumulative effect of these things, how it has been breeding bad blood.
Now, in the case of Sultan Dasuki, Aliyu Dasuki, his 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 Suktan 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 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 and by coincidence, my course mate in NDA. He became my course mate also in Young Officers’ course in Jaji. He was my personal friend. At that time, I was the Chairman of Cement Company of Northern Nigeria located in Sokoto. I was relating with Mua’zu very well. So, when eventually my father died, it was Mua’zu and co, as I told you earlier, who prevailed on Abacha to allow the choice of the kingmakers to stand as they made it. Eventually, I became the Emir of Gwandu. But we were not having a very good relationship with Sultan Dasuki because I was not his choice.
So, I was not very forthcoming with him. Even though his son Sambo was my closest friend, he (Dasuki) and I were not the best of friends. 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. I still had to get some of these Emirs to go and plead with him to please let go. When he was eventually released after Abacha’s death, everybody came and started asking me to either go or send representation. I said I was not going to do either; the reason being that at that time, he was powerful. Abacha was there before and because people felt that we were Abacha people, we were weak. If I had gone to him at that time, people would think I was scared. So, I said I was not going. Number one, Aliyu Gusau was the kingmaker. When Abdulsalami was in charge, General Aliyu Gusau was all over the place. They were the ones who were in charge.
When Abacha died, Aliyu Gusau resurfaced and started directing affairs. That was when they released Dasuki. Eventually, when Obasanjo came on board, he made Aliyu Gusau NSA, a man who is in-law to Sultan Dasuki. Sambo Dasuki, his son, was Managing Director of Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting Company, Ahmed Dasuki and Mamman Daura were also members of one committee. He had his son in-law, Yomi Edu, who was married to his daughter as minister. You have Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Uwais married to his daughter. So, he was so powerful with so many strong people around him. If I had gone to him, it would have been like out of fear. So, I said I was not going to anybody.
It was after these people were out of position that I told Sultan Maccido that I am going to meet with Sultan Dasuki on my own. I want you to take note. It was in the presence of other Emirs in Kaduna when we came for a meeting. I explained why I didn’t go before then. I told the Emir of Yauri to be ready to accompany me and Bashir Sambo. So, we went there. We sat down with him and he received us very well. So, he said we should go into the auntie’s room.
We discussed for thirty minutes what happened and I apologised to him. He forgave me, we forgot everything and there was no problem. He took me to his family, brought all his children and grandchildren and we sat down and discussed issues with them. From there, I have been frequenting his house and we have had lunch together. So, when you read in the papers after my removal that he said I deserved what happened to me, I was amazed. After we said there was forgiveness, what brought this issue again? But I said no