Alleged N1 billion fraud: Ex- Zamfara Sharia governor to know fate December 5

Former governor of Zamfara, Ahmed Yerima

A decision will be made on the corruption trial of former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, on December 5.

Mr. Yerima, a serving senator is being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, ICPC, for alleged diversion of state funds.

Mr. Yerima, it was, who instituted Sharia law in controversial circumstances while he was governor in Zamfara, including punishment of amputation for arrested thieves.

The ICPC made its final submission before Justice Bello Gummi of Zamfara State High Court 5, sitting in Gusau on Friday.

The commission’s prosecuting counsel led by Christiana Onuogu, after calling six witnesses and tendering 25 exhibits, made their final submission. The counsel to the ex-governor, Mahmud Magaji, tendered eight exhibits.

In her submission, Mrs. Onuogu argued that the prosecution had proved the essential elements of the offences with which the former governor was being charged. She said the principle of a no-case submission made by him failed where the defendant had explanations to make in response to the charges against him.

She also averred that the defendant’s confessional statement that he had diverted part of the N1 billion UBA loan to other projects and services corroborated the charges preferred against him. The action, according to her, was contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Mrs. Onuogu therefore prayed the court to dismiss the no-case submission entered by the defence counsel.

Having listened to the submissions made by both the defence and the prosecution, the trial judge adjourned the case to December 5, 2017 for ruling on the no-case submission.

It should be recalled that Mr. Yerima had earlier been arraigned in 2016 by ICPC before Justice Bello Shinkafi of High Court 4, Gusau, Zamfara State on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N385.5 million and other sums from the N1 billion loan meant for the repair of a collapsed dam and rehabilitation of flood victims while he was Governor.

The case was subsequently transferred to Justice Gummi with the agreement of both the defence and prosecuting counsel on account of several adjournments because of the judge’s ill-health.

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