The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is seeking to arrest AbdulKareem AbdulSalam Zaura, the Kano All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Kano Central District in the 2023 election.
The commission disclosed its intent to arrest him through the EFCC Counsel, Ahmad Rogha.
Rogha made this disclosure to newsmen on Monday at the resumption of the $1.3million criminal trial of of the senatorial candidate at the Federal High Court sitting in Kano.
“We are looking for Zaura, and he will be arrested as soon as we find him. Ordinarily, he was supposed to be in our custody and the court has affirmed that but I can assure you he would be arrested and brought to court for the next adjourned date January 30, 2023.”
The arraignment of Zaura could not hold due to the absence of the trial judge who is said to be attending other national issues outside Kano.
However, the counsel to the EFCC held that Zaura was supposed to report himself to the commission.
Contrary to this, Ibrahim Waru, counsel to the defendant ,faulted the position of EFCC.
He said EFCC has no legal authority to arrest his client while explaining that Zaura had no need to appear in court since court did not sit.
Meanwhile, Justice Mohammad Yunusa ordered EFCC to produce the accused person for arraignment on the allegation of fraud made against him by a Kuwaiti national.
The application filed by Zaura challenging the jurisdiction of the court was overruled by the judge.
Zaura’s attorney argued that his client under the law was not compelled to appear before the court, insisting Zaura’s appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, and the arraignment was adjourned to January 30, 2023.
Prior to this, the EFCC had charged Zaura to court for allegedly defrauding a Kuwait national sum of $1.3million.
He was brought before the federal high court sitting in Kano but the trial failed to commence because of the failure of the defendant to appear in court on 14th of October, 2022.
The case was then adjourned till 31st October, 2022. Meanwhile, upon resumption, counsel to EFCC Barr. Aisha Habib, told Justice Mohammad Sanusi Yunusa that the defendant’s whereabouts were unknown to the commission.
Aisha faulted the absence of Zaura who she insisted must be docked before the court for arraignment and stressed the defendant had disregarded the sanctity of the court.
Opposing this argument, counsel to the defendant, I.G Waru maintained that his client should not necessarily appear before the court on arraignment since there was a pending application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the trial.
Waru had cited sector 266 (B) of the Administration of Criminal Justice ACJ, 2015, which emphasized that a defendant shall appear before the court for trial but where there is an interlocutory application, he is necessary to appear.
Justice Mohammad maintained that fresh application could only surface when the criminal trial is established however asked the defense counsel to furnish the court with reasons why Zaura will not appear in court for arraignment.
The case was then adjourned to 10th November 2022 for the counsels to file written addresses on whether or not the defendant must appear before the court for arraignment.