January 30, 2023

Alleged $1.3m fraud: Absence of counsel stalls arraignment of business mogul

The absence of a Defence Counsel on Monday, stalled the arraignment of business mogul, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, before a Kano Federal High Court over alleged 1.3 million dollars fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a charge of criminal conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of 1.3 million dollars against Abdulkarim-Zaura.

When the case came up for arraignment, the EFCC Counsel, Mrs Aisha Habib told the court that she received a letter from, the defence counsel.

“My Lord we received a letter this morning from the defence counsel, Mr Ibrahim Garba-Waru, notifying us of his appearance in the Supreme Court Abuja for a pre-election matter.

“My Lord this is a criminal matter, The case has suffered several adjournments,. Section 33(a) of the Constitution of  Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, states that the plea of a defendant must be taken in the presence of his counsel”

The judge, Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa, held that the position of law according to the provisions of section 36(2)(a)(b) of 1999 Constitution as amended says a defendant must be given adequate time and facility to defend himself.

He said the case is a criminal matter and has suffered several adjournment.

“My interest in this matter is the interest of Justice,” he said.

Nasir-Yunusa adjourned the matter until Feb.6, for arraignment.

NAN reports that on June 9, 2020 Abdulkarim-Zaura was discharged and acquitted by a Federal High Court over a nine-count charge of 1.3 million dollars fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also report that the Kano Court of Appeal Division on April 2022, ordered a fresh trial of the case earlier dismissed by a lower court.(NAN)