10 October 2018

Nigeria: Judge Threatens to Revoke Bail of Ex-Governor Accused of N450m Fraud

Justice Fatima Aminu of the Federal High Court sitting in Gusau Wednesday threatened to revoke the bail she earlier granted a former governor of Zamfara State, Mahmud Shinkafi, for his failure to appear in court.

Mr Shinkafi, the second defendant in the charge, was arraigned alongside three others; Bashir Yuguda, Ibrahim Mallaha and Aminu Nahuche, for allegedly conniving to collect N450 million from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison- Madueke, for the purpose of influencing the 2015 general election.

Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them and the matter was subsequently adjourned to June 27, 2018 for hearing. When the matter came up on June 27, counsel to the second defendant, Ahmed Raji, filed a motion, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try the matter.

The matter was then adjourned to October 10, for hearing. But when the case was called, one of the sureties to the second defendant informed the court that the second defendant was summoned to Abuja over the security situation in Gusau.

The judge expressed strong reservation over the action, warning that the judicial discretion of the court should not be taken for granted.

"I am sounding a word of caution or warning that such shall not be repeated or the bail of the second defendant will be revoked," the trial judge declared.

Subsequently prosecution counsel, Musa Isah applied for the court to strike out the motion filed on behalf of the second defendant for lack of diligent prosecution.

Counsel representing Mr Shinkafi, M.R.D Labaran, urged the court to discountenance the prayer of the prosecution counsel, arguing that the motion was not slated for hearing.

Justice Aminu adjourned the matter to November 21, 2018 for hearing.

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