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Alleged misappropriation: Court says Ganduje’s trial will continue in absentia

Abdullahi-Ganduje (1)

Dr Abdullahi Ganduje

By Ramatu Garba

A Kano State High Court on Thursday insisted that the trial of the Chairman All Progressive Congress(APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, for alleged bribery and misappropriation of public funds running into billions of Naira will continue even in his absence.

Kano the state government had instituted an eight-count charge bordering on bribery allegations, Misappropriation and diversion of public funds against Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat Umar, Abubakar Bawuro, Umar Abdullahi Umar, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited and Lasage General Enterprises Limited.

The court had June 5, granted an order seeking to serve Ganduje and seven others through substituted service.

When the hearing of the matter resumed on Thursday, Mr Adeola Adedipe SAN, counsel to the state government told the court that service of court processes had been effected on the defendants and affidavit of service filed June 6.

He however, noted that Ganduje and the other defendants were not in court.

“My lord the 1st, 2nd,3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th respondents are not in court nor represented only the 6th respondent.

“The court should enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendants who refused to answer the complaint in the charge pursuant to section 278(1)(2) of Kano State Administration of Criminal Justice Law(ACJL) 2019”

He urged the court to make an order pursuant to section 388 of Kano State ACJL on a bench warrant of arrest on the defendants.

“My lord the essence of arrest warrant is for the sanctity of the court because an order have been made for the defendants to appear before it and they refused”

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Adedipe opposed the 6th respondent application on preliminary objection, affidavit of service and notice of appeal for stay of execution pending the hearing and determination of the case.

However, counsel to the 6th respondent, Mr Nureini Jimoh, SAN, told the court that service was not effected on the respondent.

“We filed a notice of preliminary objection on jurisdiction of the court and filed an application for stay of execution before Court of appeal, restraining the prosecution from publishing any charges against the 6th respondent”

Jimoh urged the court to dismiss the prosecution’s application on warrant of arrest and plea of not guilty on the respondent.

In a ruling Justice Amina Adamu-Aliyu, dismissed the application of Kano the state government seeking bench warrant on the defendant.

She entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendants and refused to strike out the charge.

“The trial of the defendants continues even in their absentia,” she held.

Adamu-Aliyu adjourned the matter until Oct.23, and 24, for hearing of the preliminary objection and the main charge.

(NAN)

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