Court Rejects Relocation of Trial of Shekarau from Kano to Abuja

Attempt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissione (EFCC) to relocate the trial of a former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau from a Federal High Court in Kano to Abuja was on Monday rejected by the court.
The anti-corruption agency had filed an application, seeking to transfer the case of alleged money laundering filed against Shekarau to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
However, Justice Luis Allagoa, dismissed the motion, after hearing arguments for and against the transfer.
The EFCC had anchor its argument on insecurity it alleged pervades Kano metropolis.
In the application, Johnson Ojojbane, argued that the rationale behind the application to move the case to Abuja was due to what he called “breakdown of law and order, resulting to a face-off between the supporters of Shekarau and security personnel at the court premises on the first arraignment day.”
He said EFCC operatives narrowly escaped lynching by the rampaging supporters of Shekarau, who besieged the court, causing a stampede before they were overpowered by policemen deployed to the area.
He further told the court that the lives of his witnesses as well as himself were in danger.
“Considering the traumatic experience we went through during the first arraignment day, and the series of threat we have received so far, the prosecution is very apprehensive.
“The three witnesses are also afraid to testify as they are being threatened by unknown persons.
”Now, only one of them agreed that his name should be used on the affidavit submitted before the court” Ojojbane said.
In his objection, Defence Counsel, Sam Ologunorisa, countered the motion.
Ologunorisa alleged that the application “was a ploy by the EFCC to stall the trial as it appeared they were not ready to continue the case”.
He said the motion was hurriedly filed before the court on the October 13, while he received a copy on Friday.
Ologunorisa explained that in a criminal case, it is not right, fair and proper for the prosecution to dictate, chose a venue or judge to preside over a case.
According to him, this contravened the provisions of Sections 222(1) and 45 of the Federal High Court, as well as section 93(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice.
He said the affidavit filed is self-contradictory as the first three witnesses on record are all EFCC’s operatives.
He argued that the current motion has the name of one Aliyu Da’u Aliyu as a witness whom he said, was never a witness in the case that his alleged fear cannot inform the decision to transfer the case.
Justice Allagoa, rather heed the prayer of the EFCC adjourned the case to December 3 and 4 for commencement of trial.
The EFCC charged Shekarau alongside former Foreign Affairs Minister, Aminu Wali and one Mansur Ahmad on six counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N950m.

Author: News Editor

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