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Court adjourns $1.3m fraud case against Kano APC chieftain indefinitely

A Federal High Court in Kano has adjourned indefinitely the retrial of the Kano North senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdussalam Abdulkarim,…

A Federal High Court in Kano has adjourned indefinitely the retrial of the Kano North senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdussalam Abdulkarim, who is facing charges bordering on fraud to the tune of $1.3 million.

Abdulkarim, popularly known as A.A. Zaura, was re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the court on a four-count charge of obtaining by false pretense a few days after losing his bid to represent his senatorial district at the Red Chamber.

 He was alleged to have defrauded a Kuwaiti of $1.3 million under the pretext that he was in the business of building property in Dubai, Kuwait, and other Arab countries.

 He was re-arraigned before the court on March 1, after the Court of Appeal quashed the earlier discharge and acquittal judgment of the court and ordered his retrial.

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 But in a motion of stay of proceeding filed before the trial court, Abdulkarim, through his counsel, Ishaq Mudi Dikko (SAN), told the court that an appeal against the judgement of the Court of Appeal ordering his retrial had been lodged before the Supreme Court where a stay of execution motion had also been filed.

He, therefore, appealed to the court to abide by the provisions of the constitution that guaranteed the right to appeal for his client, but the EFCC argued that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) frowned at the stay of proceedings on the strength of a pending appeal.

 Ruling on Thursday, Justice Muhammad Yunusa held that Abdulkarim’s right to appeal was constitutionally guaranteed and that the same constitution had established the hierarchy of the court system, with the Supreme Court being the apex court.

 The judge further held that it would be premature to execute the judgement of the Court of Appeal without exhausting the appeal process as provided for by the constitution, especially where the trial court had been put on notice that the appeal had been entered at the Supreme Court.

He held that, “The application (for a stay of proceeding) has merit and is granted. The case is hereby adjourned sine die until the decision of the Supreme Court.” 

 

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