$1.3m fraud: Court orders EFCC to produce Kano APC senatorial candidate
Justice Mohammad Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Kano, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission (EFCC) to produce businessman, Abdulsalam Zaura, before the court.
Zaura, the Kano Central senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is standing trial for alleged $1.3 million fraud against a Kuwaiti national.
When the case came up for arraignment, yesterday, Yunusa overruled the application challenging his jurisdiction to trial and other addresses bordering on Zaura’s appearance in person for arraignment.
Insisting that the appearance of Zaura for arraignment is a position of the constitution, the judge instructed the EFCC to produce him for arraignment on the adjourned date, when all pending applications could be attained.
Prior to the ruling, counsel to Zaura, Ibrahim Waru, had filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign his client for retrial. He argued the lower court lacked all known powers to sit on the case, which is already on appeal before the Supreme Court.
But the prosecution counsel, Ahmed Arogha, who urged the court to discountenance the stand of the defence, noted that an accused person must be docked to take a plea before any prayer could be taken.
Although Yunusa had afforded the parties the opportunity to file addresses before the court as to the issue of appearance in court for arraignment, the court was compelled to order that Zaura must appear in court, after the parties failed to perfect responses to their addresses within the limited period.
Zaura allegedly defrauded a Kuwaiti of $1.3 million through false pretence to develop a real estate in Dubai, The Guardian gathered from an EFCC source.
The court of appeal, Kano division, in April 2022, ordered a fresh trial of the case earlier dismissed by the Federal High Court.
The three-man appellate court panel, presided by Justice Abdullahi Bayero, upturned the ruling of Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, which acquitted Zaura in June 2020.
Zaura defeated Sen. Bashir Garba to win the Kano Central APC primary in April 2022.