Kano: Kwankwaso’s former commissioner docked for alleged fraud

Rabiu Kwankwaso
Rabiu Kwankwaso

The Kano State Public Complaints and and Anti-Corruption Commission has arraigned former Commissioner of Health during Rabiu Kwankwaso’s administration, Abubakar Labaran, before the State High Court for allegedly diverting tuition fees and allowances meant for indigenes of the state studying in an Egyptian university .

Mr. Labaran was arraigned on a three-count charge of alleged criminal breach of trust, violation of civil service rules and corruption.
The alleged offences are said to contravene sections 315 and 123 of the Penal Code and section 24 (a) (i) of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Law (2008).

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The defence counsel, Nuraini Jimoh, said the accused was not served properly, noting that he heard of his arraignment from the chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption through the media.

He therefore appealed to the court to grant the accused bail on ground of an illness which requires regular medical attention. He assured the court that Mr. Labaran would not jump bail if granted.

The prosecution counsel, Mahmud Balarabe, however, denied the accused was not formally notified, saying he was served through his counsel. Mr. Balarabe filed a counter-affidavit to the bail application.

In her ruling, the trial judge, Aisha Rabiu, faulted the prosecution counsel for not serving the accused directly, being an originating surmmon.

Justice Rabiu observed that the charges are simple offences that can be treated by a magistrate court grade three and that they are bailable.

The judge granted the accused bail on condition of N200,000 bond and two sureties and adjourned the case to April 30 for hearing.

The State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission said it received a petition against Mr. Labaran accusing him of corrupt practices in handling allowances and tuition fees of Kano State indigenes studying for degree course in Nursing at Almansoura University, Cairo, Egypt.

Although Governor Abdullahi Ganduje served as deputy-governor to Mr. Kwankwaso and belongs in the All Progressives Congress as his former boss, the two men have fallen out since Mr. Ganduje took the helm and are now implacable political enemies.

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