Jigawa Sues Ex-Attorney General, Seeks Refund of N7.7 Million for Undone Job
Jigawa State government has dragged its immediate past attorney-general, Sani Husaini Garun-Gabbas, before the court over allegation of non-prosecution of an appellate case after collecting fees for the job.
In the suit filed before the High Court of Jigawa State by the state’s serving attorney-general and commissioner of justice, Dr Musa Adamu Aliyu, the state government alleged that Garun-Gabbas collected the sum of N7.7 million for the purpose of appealing a case at the Supreme Court but failed to execute the appeal.
In a writ of summons dated November 5, 2021, the state is seeking the court’s order to mandate Garun-Gabbas to refund the amount paid to him as “there was no proof” he worked on the case for which the money was paid.
Garun-Gabbas, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had served as the commissioner of justice in the state during Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar’s first term between 2015 and 2019.
It would be recalled that the state government had in February 2015 dragged a former local government chairman in the state, Idris Iliyasu Danlawan, and one of his associates before a High Court in the state for allegedly engineering the murder of a village man who booed at their campaign train.
Danlawan was however discharged and acquitted by the State’s High Court. The government also lost on appeal at the Court of Appeal.
But in an April 2018 memo, Garun-Gabbas, then as attorney-general of the state, wrote Governor Abubakar seeking funds to enable him appeal the case at the Supreme Court, arguing that the two lower courts erred in their judgements.
His prayer for N7.7 million for the purpose was approved by the governor and paid to the ministry on May 4, 2018.
But in the suit, the government alleged that the former commissioner collected the money in cash and did not pursue the case as he promised.
The state government seeks “declaration that the claimaant is entitled to refund of the sum of N7,700,000 (seven million seven hundred thousand naira only) being funds to prosecute appeal at the Supreme Court of appeal in a State v Idris Iliyasu Danlawan and 1 other collected in cash by Defendant from the cashier of the Ministry of Justice and there is no proof that the funds collected were used for the purpose it was collected.”
The state is also seeking “an order directing the Defendant to refund thesum of N7, 700, 000.00 to the Claimant being public fund released to the Defendant to prosecute a criminal appeal before the Supreme Court of Nigeria which the Defendant failed to do so.”
The Claimant also claims against the Defendant “an order of 10% post judgement interest from the from the date of the judgement until the entire judgement sum is liquidated.”
The writ directed Garun-Gabbas to enter appearance personally or through a legal representative within 30 days of receiving the court summon.
A call by Nigerian Sketch to the learned senior advocate Saturday evening could not get through as his phone was constantly on ‘busy’ mode.
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