The Katsina State Police Command has arraigned a chieftain of the PDP, Umar Tata, for staging a durbar to woo voters in Dutsi ahead of last Saturday’s bye-election for Mashi/Dutsi Federal constituency seat.
Mr. Tata was arraigned on Monday before a Katsina Chief Magistrates’ Court on a one-count charge of holding a durbar without police clearance, thereby constituting nuisance to the public.
Mr. Tata contested for the governorship of the state in 2015 under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Police First Information Report (FIR) stated that the accused committed the alleged offence on May 18, 2017 at about 4:00pm.
According to the FIR, the accused, without clearance from the police, organized a durbar with other PDP supporters in Dutsi.
“The accused at the same Dutsi town engaged in distribution of grains to electorates with the aim of seeking favour from them.
“The accused took 250 bags of grains and was openly distributing the commodities to the voters,” the FIR said.
The police prosecutor, Ibrahim Garba, a deputy superintendent, told the court that the offence contravened Section 119 of the state penal code law.
Counsel to the accused, Uyi Ogunma, however, prayed the court to grant bail to his client, as the offence was bailable.
“My Lord, my client is presumed to be innocent based on the provision in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“My client is a well known person in Katsina state and will never jump bail if granted to him,” he said
The Chief Magistrate, Nuraddeen El-Ladans, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
He said the sureties must be two District Heads who would present their National ID Cards and other vital documents to the court.
The case has been adjourned till July 4, 2017, for further mention.
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