EFCC mounts manhunt for Kano APC senatorial candidate, A. A. Zaura
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared a Kano senatorial candidate wanted.
EFCC on Monday declared a manhunt for the senatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Kano Central, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim Zaura (aka A. A. Zaura), over an alleged $1,320,000 fraud.
Counsel to EFCC, Ahmed Arogha, told journalists at the premises of Federal High Court, Kano that the commission is “looking for him.”
Arogha who spoke shortly after the court failed to sit over the absence of the presiding Judge declared that the commission would “arrest him wherever he is.”
Mr Arogha said “anytime and anywhere we see him, we will arrest him.”
Zaura had been to the Supreme Court to stop the Federal High Court court from trying him, but the Supreme Court of Nigeria refused while affirming the decision of the Court of Appeal to retry him.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Kano on Wednesday April 13, 2022 had set aside judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano which discharged and acquitted him.
On June 9, 2020, Justice A. L. Allagoa of the Federal High Court had found the defendant not guilty and discharged him on all counts.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, EFCC appealed the judgment, asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
In a unanimous judgment on 13 April, 2022, a three-man panel of justices of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Abdullahi M. Bayero, upturned the judgment of the lower court and ordered that the defendant be tried afresh by a judge other than Justice Allagoa.
Justice Bayero said “it is in evidence that presence of the respondent was excused due to misconduct by the respondent. The entire trial is rendered nullity if he is not in court.
“For this sole reason, we accept the appellant contention that the judgment of the lower court was rendered in the absence of the appellant.
“In the instant appeal, the accused person was not in court on the 9th of June 2020 when the lower court delivered judgment against the accused. I therefore see merit in the submission of the appellant counsel. In that regard, I resolved the matter in favor of the appellant.”
Zaura was accused by the commission of defrauding a Kuwaiti citizen of the sum of $1,320,000 (One Million Three Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars) under the pretext that he was an estate agent that specialized in building in Dubai, Kuwait and other Arab countries.
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