$1.3m Alleged Fraud: APC Senatorial Candidate Standing Trial Missing – EFCC Tells Court


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told a Federal High Court in Kano that Abdulkareem Abdulsalam Zaura (popularly known as AA Zaura), the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano central is nowhere to be found for the commencement of his trial.

AA Zaura was accused of defrauding a Kuwaiti national of $1.3million, and was billed for arraignment on Monday after the Court of Appeal quashed the earlier discharge and acquittal judgment and ordered his retrial.

However, the defendant was absent in court on Monday just as he was on October 14, the date earlier fixed for the arraignment.

Responding to an enquiry by the trial judge, the prosecution counsel, Aisha Habib, who is also the Head of Legal of EFCC, said the defendant was nowhere to be found and his absence in court was a total disregard to the court.

But Zaura’s counsel, Ibrahim Waru, told the court that because they have filed an interlocutory application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, his client does not have to be physically present in court.

He added that the second reason is that his client is not physically fit to stand trial and that a medical report had been obtained.

The judge, Justice Mohammad Nasiru Yinusa, thereafter, directed that a written application on whether or not the defendant should be present in court should be filed by his counsel after the prosecution informed the court that some documents (medical report) were just given to them by the defence counsel.

Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to November 10.

Daily Trust reports that AA Zaura was earlier tried before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the same court and was discharged and acquitted in June 2020.

Not satisfied with the court judgment, the EFCC appealed the judgment and a three-member panel of justices of the appellate, presided by Justice Abdullahi Bayero, upheld the appeal and ordered the retrial of the case before a different judge.


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