By: Mustapha Gambo Muhammad
A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Thursday, held that a business mogul, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, must appear before the court on Dec.5, for his arraignment over alleged 1.3 million dollars fraud.
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a criminal conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of 1.3 million dollars charged against Abdulkarim-Zaura.
When the case came up on Thursday for adoption of written addresses on why or not the defendant to appear before the court, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr A I Arogha, urged the court to decline to hear the defendant applications.
“The application is not ripe for hearing since the defendant is not in court and We served the Prosecution our written addresses on Nov.7”
Counsel to Abdulkarim-Zaura, Mr Ibrahim Garba-Waru, objected the prosection prayer to decline to hear the defendant applications on challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign him and why or not to appear before the court.
“The Prosecution served us with their written addresses on Nov.9, we need time to reply on point of law.
Pyramid Radio also recalls that on Oct.14, the defendant filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to arraign him and in as much trial didn’t start his appearance in court is not necessary.
Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa,after listening to both parties, said the law says a defendant must be present in court before arraignment to answer his plea and hearing of any application.
Nasir-Yunusa adjourned the matter until Dec.5, 2022, for arraignment and adoption of written addresses.
Pyramid Radio recalls that on Oct.31 the defendant was not in court as his Counsel said the presence of his client is not mandatory argued that he is not physically fit to stand trial.
It could be recalls that on June 9, 2020 Abdulkarim-Zaura was discharged and acquitted by a Federal High Court over a nine-count charge of 1.3 million dollars fraud.
The Kano Court of Appeal division on April, 2022 ordered a fresh trial of the case earlier dismissed by a lower court.