The All Progressives Congress (APC) Kano Central senatorial candidate, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim Zaura (popularly known as AA Zaura), on Monday appeared before a Federal High Court in Kano over an alleged $1.3 million fraud charge against him.
Zaura was accused of defrauding a Kuwaiti national of $1.3m, and was billed for arraignment after the Court of Appeal quashed the earlier discharge and acquittal judgment of the court and ordered his retrial.
Daily Trust reports that his re-arraignment earlier billed for October 14, October 31 and November 10 could not go ahead respectively following his absence in court with his lawyer arguing that his client did not have to appear before the court because of an appeal before the Supreme Court against the appellate court judgment.
This led the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to declare it was going after the Kano politician.
However, despite the appearance of the APC candidate in court on Monday, the arraignment could not go ahead as scheduled following the absence of his counsel, Ibrahim Waru.
Upon the call of the case file, counsel for the EFCC, Aisha Habib, drew the attention of the trial judge, Justice Mohammad Nasir Yunusa, to the absence of the defence counsel and that she was in a receipt of a letter from the counsel notifying her of a pre-election trial he was attending to at the Supreme Court, Abuja.
The EFCC counsel, however, pleaded with the court to proceed with arraignment citing the provisions of Section 33 sub (A) of the constitution.
He argued that the law allowed a defendant to take his plea even in the absence of the counsel and called on the court to take judicial notice of the several adjournments the case had suffered due to the absence of the defendants during previous hearing dates.
However, ruling on the application, Justice Yunusa adjourned the matter to February 6 to allow the defendant enough time and facilities to defend himself as enshrined in Section 36 (2) A and B of the constitution.