Journalism of Courage

Judge remands fellow judges, court registrars, cashier in prison over alleged N500m theft

Persecondnews reports that at their arraignment, the 15 defendants, however, denied the charges.

Judges, court registrars, cashier and others have been thrown behind the bars by a court in Kano in Kano State capital over N500 million theft.

Reason: They allegedly committed criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by public servants, theft and forgery.

The offences violated Sections 97, 79,289 and 315 of the Penal Code, laws of Northern Nigeria.

Persecondnews reports that at their arraignment, the 15 defendants, however, denied the charges.

Chief Magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad Datti, who took their pleas, remanded all the defendants in Kano Correctional Centre (prison) and adjourned the case until February 1, 2023, for hearing.

The cashier with the Kano State Sharia Court Division, Hussaina Imam, and 14 others including judges and registrars were on Wednesday evening arraigned before the court for stealing about N500 million, property of Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal.

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They acted jointly and created 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned funds into the various accounts.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mr Zaharaddeen Mata, asked for the leave of the court for the content of the First Information Report (FIR) be read to the defendants in accordance with Section 129 (7) of Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019 of Kano State.

The FIR states: “On 20th August, 2021 an official complaint was received at the Kano State Public Complain and Anti-Corruption Commission from Kano State ministry of justice, that sometimes ago in the year 2020/2021 you Bashir Ali Kurawa “M”, Saadatu Umar “f”, Tijjani Abdullahi “m”, Maryam Jibrin Garba “f”, Shamsu Sani “m” and you Hussaina Iman “f” you committed an offence of criminal conspiracy in which you Hussaina Imam used your official position as cashier in the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and conspired with the aforementioned persons and one Suleiman “m” (now at large) and forged the letterhead papers/sheets of Sharia Court of Appeal, forged the signatures of the two signatories to the Stanbic IBTC bank account 0020667440 belonging to Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and stole money to the tune of four hundred and eighty four million, sixty seven thousand, three hundred and twenty seven naira and seven Kobo (N484,067,327:07) by fraudulently authorising the bank to transfer the said amount to various bank accounts without the knowledge and/or consent of the authorized body/persons.”

In another charge, the defendants were arraigned for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by a public servant and theft by a clerk or servant contrary to Sections 97, 79, 315 and 289 of Penal Code.

It states: “That on 29th August, 2021, an official complaint was received by the Commission from Kano State Ministry of Justice, that sometime ago in the year 2018 to 2021 you Sani Ali Muhammad “m”, Sani Buba Aliyu “m”, Bashir Baffa “m”, Garzali Wada “m”, Hadi Tijjani Mu’azu “m”, Alkasim Abdullahi “m”, Yusuf Abdullahi “m”, Mustapha Bala Ibrahim “m”, Jafar Ahmad “m”, Adamu Balarabe “m”, Aminu Abdulkadir “m”, Abdullahi Suleiman Zango “m”, Garba Yusuf “m”, Bashir Ali Kurawa “m” and you Hussaina Imam “f” criminally conspired, breached the trust in you as a public servant.

“They acted jointly and create 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned funds to the tune of ninety-six million, two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N96,250,000.00) that was remitted by the Kano State Pension Fund Trustee to the bank accounts of Kano State Sharia Court Appeal and stole the said amount through eight Sharia Courts under the Kano State Sharia Court Appeal without the consent and knowledge of the authorizing authority.”

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