ICPC Appeals Acquittal of Former Zamfara Governor, Sani

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has appealed against the judgement of Justice Bello Mohammed Tukur of Zamfara State High Court sitting in Gusau which upheld the no case submission of the former Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Rufai Sani.
The anti-graft agency had arraigned the former Governor on alleged diversion of public funds.
The former Governor was charged alongside Hashim A. Dikko, Development Management Limited and Had Nigeria Limited.
In the ruling, Justice Tukur who discharged all the defendants saying, “it is a natural consequence of the finding that the 1st defendant (Ahmed Rufai Sani) is not a public officer. Not being a public officer, the 1st defendant could not be said or found to have used the public office status that is not available to him to confer any advantage upon another.”
The Judge said, “…considering the position of the 1st defendant as the Governor of Zamfara State at the material time in a civilian government that of necessity must operate an open door policy, it is not out of place for a Governor to meet with people intending to do genuine business and to hold tentative or exploratory discussions. To dismiss or condemn such meetings or discussions as illegal or unlawful would in the view of this court unduly hinder the ability of a Governor of State to effectively administer a government ”
However, the ICPC has entered an appeal at the Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto, asking it to set aside the ruling and order the defendants to enter their defence before another Judge of the High Court of Zamfara State.
The ICPC also appealed against the ruling on the ground that the trial Judge did not limit himself to the evidence laid before him by the prosecution
The Commission had earlier charged Sani and the three other defendants to court on a 19-count charge of alleged diversion of N464,820,189.24 out of N1bn loan allocated for the repair of the collapsed Gusau dam to other services contrary to S 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The section states that, “any public officer who transfers or spends any sum allocated for a particular project, or service, on any other project, or service, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act”.

Author: News Editor

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