The Economic andFinancial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has filed an appeal at Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal, challenging the ruling of the Sokoto State High Court in respect of pardon granted by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, to five persons who were charged for fraud alongside a former governor of the state, Attahiru Bafarawa.
Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is a member of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, whose major mantra is the fight against corruption.
The Sokoto State High Court presided by Justice Bello Abbas had on June 29 discharged Tukur Alkali, Bello Isah, Isah Sadiq, Habibu Halilu Modachi and Muhammadu Dingyadi from further criminal proceedings based on a pardon granted them by Tambuwal.
Tambuwal granted the pardon while the officials were still being tried for the alleged fraud.
However, being dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC took the matter to the Court of Appeal seeking an order setting aside the judgment of the trial court on four grounds.
The appellant argued that section 36 (10) of the Constitution, which provides that “No person who shows that he has been pardoned for a criminal offence shall again be tried of that offence” is talking about pardon after conviction and in this case, the respondents were undergoing trial when the pardon was granted.
According to the appellant, a governor of a state can only exercise his prerogative of mercy to a person who had been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction.
It contended that the trial judge erred in law by allowing the governor of Sokoto State to interfere or discontinue with criminal proceedings before it.