N950m Fraud: You Have Case To Answer, Court Tells Shekarau, 2 Others
Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano today Monday, September 23rd, 2019 told the former governor of Kano State and serving senator Malam Ibrahim Shekarau that he has case to answer in the N950,000,000 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) fraud allegation against him and two others.
The EFCC, arraigned Shekarau alongside two others on six counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N950 million.
The two others are: Aminu Bashir Wali and Mansur Ahmed.
They were arraigned on the 24th of May, 2018 for allegedly collecting the sum from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Allison Madueke for the purpose of influencing 2015 general election.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge against them thereby setting the stage for trial.
In the course of trial, the prosecution called four witnesses and closed its case on May 8, 2019.
Subsequently, the defendants through their counsels filed a no-case submission and moved same on July 2, 2019.
The matter was then adjourned to today September 23, 2019, for ruling on the no-case submission.
In a brief ruling today, Justice Allagoa dismissed the no-case submission and called the defendants to open their defense.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Lewis Allagoa, held that the EFCC has made out a prima facie case against the defendants, warranting that they must defend themselves.
“I have considered evidence by the prosecution against the defendants, it is sufficient that they have case to answer and defend themselves,” he said.
Allagoa adjourned the case until Nov.18 and Nov. 19, for defence to open its case.
Earlier, Counsel to Shekarau and two others, Mr Dauda Abdulrahman, and Mr Abdul Adamu, on July 9 filed a no-case submission.
Adamu said EFCC failed to present a prima facie case to warrant the defendants entering defence and urged the court to discharge his clients.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, had earlier told the court that the defendants, between March 26 and March 27, 2015, conspired among themselves and received the said amount without going through financial institutions.
He said that the money was issued to the defendants by the Peoples Democratic Party and former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act and Section 15(1) of money laundering Act.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defendants were earlier granted bail in the sum of N100 million each with two reliable sureties in like sum and during the course of trial, the prosecution called four witnesses and closed its case on May 8.