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$1.3m fraud: AbdulSalam Zaura’s absence stalls fresh arraignment

The absence of Abdulkareem AbdulSalam Zaura, the embattled candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC, Kano Central in court stalled his arraignment in court on Monday.

This is as his Defence Counsel, Waru, Esq told the Federal Court, sitting in Kano that his client, scheduled for fresh arraignment, over an alleged $1.3 million fraud was absent because he was physically unfit to stand trial.

His absence has, meanwhile, sparked legal fireworks between EFCC Lawyers, and the Defence Attorney who argued that it was not mandatory for his client to be in court due to an interlocutory application over jurisdiction.

Earlier, the EFCC accused Mr Zaura of  defrauding a Kuwaiti indigene of $1.320 million by false pretence.

It would be recalled that the court of Appeal, Kano Division in April 2022, ordered a fresh retrial of the case, which was earlier dismissed by a Federal High Court.

The three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court, presided over by Justice Abdullahi Bayero had struck out the judgment of Justice Lewis Allagoa, who discharged Zaura of the alleged financial theft in June 2020.

Consequently, Waru, Esq told the court, presided over by Justice Abdullahi Bayero that, “Zaura is not in court because of two reasons. One, he is not physically fit for the trial and there is a medical report to that effect with us.”

The Defence counsel, who vehemently opposed the presence of his client in court had argued that “there is a line of difference between a criminal case and criminal trial.

He cited Section 266 Subsection B in the case of Bafarawa vs Sokoto State government, where the state High court ruled that it was not mandatory for the accused person to be in court.

 

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