The arraignment of a former Governor of Kebbi State, Usman Dakingari, alongside three others before a Federal High Court sitting in Kebbi, could not go on on Wednesday due to the failure of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants’ absence in court.
Others charged alongside Dakingari are Garba Kamba, Sunday Dogonyaro and Abdullahi Yelwa.
The prosecution was given Wednesday to bring the defendants before the court for arraignment, but repeated evasion of service by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants aborted the planned arraignment as only the 4th defendant, Garba Kamba, who reported to the commission’s Kano Zonal Office ahead of the arraignment was in court.
The defendants allegedly conspired and received the cash sum of N700 million, part of the $115m allegedly distributed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison-Madueke for the purpose of compromising the 2015 general election.
The money was allegedly warehoused in a new generation bank from where the defendants collected same in cash and distributed among themselves thereby violating the provision of section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).
When the case came up Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, informed the court that the prosecution made several attempts to serve the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants but the defendants persistently refused to be served.
Ojogbane subsequently requested the court through a motion experte, relying on Section 382(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to allow the prosecution serve the defendants through either their counsel, sureties, an adult member of their household or pasted on their last known address.
Justice Amobeda Simone granted the application of the prosecution as prayed and ordered that the defendants be served within 48 hours through any of their counsel, sureties, an adult member of their household or on their last known address.
On the issue of the 4th defendant, the court allowed him to return home, with instruction to present himself for arraignment on the next adjourned date.
The case has been adjourned to June 25, 2018 for arraignment.
Meanwhile, Dakingari was on Wednesday served with the 15-count charge by the bailiff of the Federal High Court Kebbi at around 1:51 p.m. in the defendant’s residence at GRA Birnin Kebbi.
The charge was served on the defendant through one of his household, Mohammed Danladi, who collected the charge and the court order issued by the court granting the complainant leave to serve Dakingari alongside the 2nd and 3rd defendants.
The court further ordered the defendants to appear before it on June 25, 2018 to take their plea.