Alleged Fraud: Appeal court orders retrial of ex-Kano governorship candidate

Written by on April 14, 2022

The Court of Appeal, Kano division, Wednesday set aside the judgment of a Federal High Court that discharged and acquitted a former Kano gubernatorial candidate, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim, popularly known as AA Zaura.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Mr Abdulkarim to court for allegedly defrauding a Kuwaiti national. He was charged with a five-count charge at the Federal High Court in Kano.

The commission accused him of defrauding a Kuwaiti national of $1.3 million under the pretext of procuring real estate for him in Dubai, Kuwait.

On June 9, 2020, Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court in Kano found the defendant not guilty and discharged him on all counts.

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the EFCC appealed to the Court of Appeal. A unanimous decision by the three-member panel of judges read by Abdullahi Bayero, set aside the judgment of the high court.

Mr Bayero then ordered the defendant to be tried afresh by a different judge.

The main contention of the appeal was the absence of the accused person when the judgment of the High Court was delivered. Citing several judgements of the Supreme Court, it was held that an accused person must always be present in court throughout his trial including judgment.

It was in that regard that the court of appeal found merit in the appeal and upheld the same accordingly.

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