Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Alleged $1.3m fraud: Again, absence of A.A Zaura stalls fresh arraignment

The absence of a business mogul and politician, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, in court on Monday stalled his arraignment for alleged 1.30 million dollars fraud.

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

The Prosecution  Counsel, Mrs Aisha Habib, told the court that Abdulkarim-Zaura, who is the All Progressives Congress, Kano Central Senatorial Candidate in 2023 general elections was no where to be found for arraignment.

“This is a criminal case and the suspect must be in court to answer his plea even if he is challenging the jurisdiction of the court for arraignment.”

“This is a total disrespect, he has to be in court before he can file an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign him” Habib said.

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Counsel to Abdulkarim-Zaura, Mr Ibrahim Garba-Waru, told the court at this critical stage of the proceedings the presence of my client is not mandatory.

“Section 266(b) of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2015 says in a criminal trial the presence of the defendant is necessary but where there is an exception of interlocutory application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign him can not take place”.

Garba-Waru said his client was in court because he is not physically fit to stand trial.

Read Also: Court adjourns suit challenging police commercialization

“My client on Oct.14, filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign him and in as much trial didn’t start his appearance in court is not necessary,” he said.

Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa, said in a criminal case a defendant must be in court.

“This is a criminal case Where is the defendant?”

The judge ordered both parties to file written addresses on why or not the defendant to appear before the court and adjourned the matter until Nov. 10.

The News Agency of Nigeria (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.

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)

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