All is not well with the gubernatorial aspirations of Abdussalam Abdulkarim, famously known as AA Zaura, a Court of Appeal in Kano, orders a retrial of his case in an alleged multi-million dollar fraud.
The Economic Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, had some time last year taken Zaura to a Federal High Court in Kano, accusing him of defrauding à Kuwaiti $1,320,000 which he obtained through false pretence, claiming he was a Developer who specialised in buildings in Dubai, Kuwait and some Arabs countries.
However, the Federal High Court after carefully prosecuting the case, discharged and acquitted Zaura of all allegations but relentlessly, EFCC appealed the case at an appellate court in Kano
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday set aside a judgment of a Kano Federal High Court that discharged and acquitted AA Zaura.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission prosecuted Zaura on five-count charges.
On the 9th of June 2020, Justice Lewis Allagoa found the defendant not guilty and discharged him on all counts.
Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the counsel representing the prosecution, Musa Isah took the matter to the court of appeal in a bid to overturn the judgment of the lower court.
In a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of judges of the court of appeal and delivered by Justice Abdullahi M. Bayero, the judgment of the Federal High Court was set aside.
Bayero also ordered that the defendant be tried afresh by a different judge other than Justice Allagoa.
The main point of contention in the appeal was that the accused person was absent when the judgment was delivered and based on several judgments of the Supreme Court, it was held that an accused person must always be present in court throughout his trial including judgment.
It was in that regard that the court of appeal found merit in the appeal and upheld the same accordingly.
“Having determined the issue in favour of the appellant, the appeal naturally succeeds. The judgment of the lower court in suit number FHCK/CR2018/ FRN against Abdulsalam Sale Abdulkarim delivered on June 9th, 2020 is hereby set aside.”
Bayero further ordered that the case be reverted to the Federal High Court for a fresh start.