EFCC Wants Trial of Ex-Kano Gov., Shekarau, Others Transfer from Kano for Security Reasons

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wants the trial of former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and Director General Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Mansur Ahmed, transfer from Kano over security threat.
The three are accused of criminal offence of money laundering to the tune of N950m in which each of them allegedly collected N25m to facilitate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential campaign.
In his submission, the prosecuting counsel, Jonson Ojogbane, informed the court that EFCC had already applied for the transfer of the matter, through the Chief Justice of the Federal high court in Abuja, from Kano to another judicial division due to security threat.
Ojogbone thereby sought for adjournment of the suit to enable them conclude the process of the transfer, expediently waiting for the lordship approval.
According to the EFCC lawyer: “I wish to inform the court that, after we left here on the last day, due to the difficult situation we find ourselves and subsequent even same day at our Kano office, it is practically impossible for us to continue to prosecute this case in this judicial division. Consequently, we wrote a letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal high court in Abuja on the 1st June, 2018, seeking for his gracious intervention, to transfer this case from this division to another division which is saver to all concern.
“We also further wrote an application, dated 25th June, 2018, for the adjournment of this case to enable us complete the process of the transfer. Section 98 sub-section (1)(2) Of the administration of criminal justice act.2015, where its stated clear that, the Chief Judge has the power to transfer a case from one court to another, we wish to apply that this case is adjourned to another.”
The presiding Judge, Justice Zainab Abubakar Kaji said that the prosecution counsel cannot request for such application for adjournment without specifically mentioning a date that will be convenient to both parties.
On his part, counsel to the first defendant (Ibrahim Shekarau), Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), who vehemently opposed the application on transfer of the case from Kano insisted that the transfer was a sign that the prosecution was not prepared to continue with the suit.
Okutepa, who argued that the prosecution has no excuse to apply for such application on the basis of security threat with all the security apparatus at his disposal, also averred that the prosecution was not mindful of financial expenses and other implications that might cause his clients.
According to Okutepa: “We are in court this morning (Tuesday), we walk to the court in peace, we are worried that the prosecution who has all the apparatus at his disposal will entertain such fears and went ahead to apply for the transfer of this case. It is a sign that the prosecution are not ready”.
Counsel to second (Aminu Wali) and third (Mansur Ahmad) defendants, Sam T. Ologunorisa (SAN), who also challenged the prosecution’s application for transfer however raised the alarm that from intelligence report that ”there is the likelihood that our clients and over 50 witnesses maybe kidnapped on their way to Abuja.
In her ruling the presiding Judge, Justice Zainab Abukakar said “application such as this, are meant for the court to stay action, until the Chief Judge response or accede to the request, on whether the case will continue in Kano or not.
The Judge thereby adjourned the case to October 18, 2018, pending the request before the Chief Judge.

Author: News Editor

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