The absence of a Defence Counsel on Monday, stalled the arraignment of business mogul, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim-Zaura, before a Kano Federal High Court over alleged 1.3 million dollars fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a charge of criminal conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of 1.3 million dollars against Abdulkarim-Zaura.
When the case came up for arraignment, the EFCC Counsel, Aisha Habib told the court that she received a letter from the defence counsel.
“My Lord we received a letter this morning from the defence counsel, Mr Ibrahim Garba-Waru, notifying us of his appearance in the Supreme Court Abuja for a pre-election matter.
“My Lord, this is a criminal matter, The case has suffered several adjournments, Section 33(a) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, states that the plea of a defendant must be taken in the presence of his counsel.”
The judge, Justice Muhammad Nasir-Yunusa, held that the position of law according to the provisions of section 36(2)(a)(b) of 1999 Constitution as amended says a defendant must be given adequate time and facility to defend himself.
He said the case is a criminal matter and has suffered several adjournment.
“My interest in this matter is the interest of Justice,” he said.
Nasir-Yunusa adjourned the matter until Feb.6, for arraignment.
NAN reports 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 News Agency of Nigeria also reports that the Kano Court of Appeal Division on April 2022, ordered a fresh trial of the case earlier dismissed by a lower court.