By Khadijah Aliyu
A group of 31 business women, have dragged a businesswoman, Halima Ibrahim, popularly knowns as Leema to Upper Shari’a Court, sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano state over alleged N500 million fraud.
The case Leema, as defendant and Habiba Tijjani and 30 others as plaintiffs had commenced in September this year.
The plaintiffs claimed to have paid the sum of N500 millions of naira jointly to Leema, for order of furniture, kitchen utensils, toys and house hold items from China but are yet to recieve the goods.
They complained that the said woman refused to either bring the goods or refund them, prompting them to take the matter to the Shari’a court, presided over by Ustaz Ibrahim Sarki Yola.
Some of the women, who spoke to Radio Nigeria, Fatima Abdullahi Shehu , Rashida Kardam, Aishatu Abubakar, Aisha Rabi’u, Habiba Tijjani and Hassana Bello from Abuja, Adamawa, Katsina, Gombe and Kaduna respectively said that most of those affected reside in neighbouring states, and had to be traveling to Kano for the court case.
They noted that most of them were taken to Police station by their respective customers, others divorced by their husbands while about five of them lost their lives due to tension and pressure from customers to refund their money.
The noted that the huge amount of the money was paid to Halima’s bank account in instalment after she advertised the products in her WhatsApp group.
“She later demanded for clearance fee after we placed the order, claiming that uncleared goods would be sold if the fee is not received within a short period.
” Leema had kept pledging to distribute the goods but after some months it became obvious that she defrauded us.
” All efforts to get their money back proved abortive,” they decried.
The women stressed that, Halima Ibrahim had never appeared during the court sitting, which was adjourned several times, lamenting that the case had to be stalled on Thursday due to absence of the defendant’s lawyers and the judge.
They appealed to Sarki Yola to assist them by speeding up rhe judgement, saying, “as a Judge with proven integrity, we believe that he would get to the root of the matter and do justice to us”.
They also appealed to Kano state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, to help intervene for them get justice over the ongoing case.
“We also appeal to governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje khadimul Islam and Kano emirate council to come to our aid as we are in a difficult situation. Our life is in danger as our customers are threatening some of us. We don’t have peace of mind,” they cried out.
When Radio Nigeria contacted the defense lawyers, Barrister Aliyu and Barrister Yunusa, they did not respond to phones calls, nor did theyr reply the text message sent by the correspondent.