Kano court remands Judges, cashier, 16 others over alleged N580.2m theft

By Khadija Aliyu

A Kano Chief Magistrates Court, presided over by Mustapha Sa’ad Datti, has ordered the remand of two State Shari’a Court judges, cashier, Hussaina Imam, and 16 other financial registrar’s in a correctional facility, for allegedly conspiring and stealing N580.2 million.

The defendants:Bashir Ali Kurawa, Saadatu Umar, Tijjani Abdullahi, Maryam Jibrin-Garba, Shamsu Sani and Hussaina Imam are standing trial on five-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by public servant, theft and forgery.

Others are Sani Ali Muhammad, Sani Buba-Aliyu, Bashir Baffa, Garzali Wada,, Hadi Tijjani Mu’azu, Alkasim Abdullahi, Yusuf Abdullahi, Mustapha Bala Ibrahim, Jafar Ahmad, Adamu Balarabe, Aminu Abdulkadir,Abdullahi Zango and Garba Yusuf.

The Prosecution Counsel, Barrister Zahraddeen Kofar Mata, told the court that an official complaint was received by Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission from the State Ministry of Justice on Aug. 20, 2021.

He highlighted that, sometimes in 2020/2021 Hussaina used her position as a cashier at the State Shari’a Court of Appeal, conspired with four others and one Suleiman now at large and forged letter head papers of Sharia Court of Appeal.

“The defendants forged the signatures of the two signatories to the Stanbic IBTC bank account 0020667440 belonging to Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and stole the sum of N484 million”

Zaharadeen alleged that, the defendants fraudulently authorized the bank to transfer N484 million, to various bank accounts without the consent of the authorized persons.

He also explained that, sometimes in the year 2018 to 2021, the defendants criminally conspired, breached the trust as public servants, acted jointly and created 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned the sum of N96.2 million.

He said, the defendants stole the said amount,through eight Sharia Courts under the Kano State Sharia Court Appeal without the consent of the authorizing authority.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened the provision of section 97, 79, 315, 287 and 363 of Penal Code.

The defense counsel, Barr.Garzali Datti, urged the court to exercise its jurisdiction judiciously and admit the defendants on bail, arguing that, the application was brought pursuant to section 35 and 36 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended,168 and 172 of Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019 Kano.

Chief Magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad-Datti, ordered the remand of the defendants in a Correctional Center and adjourned the matter until February 1st, for hearing.

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