By Ramatu Garba
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kano, on Wednesday, admitted two Shari’a Court judges, a cashier and 16 other financial registrars to bail for alleged N580.2 million theft.
The defendants: Sani Muhammad, Sani Buba-Aliyu, Bashir Baffa, Garzali Wada,, Hadi Tijjani Mu’azu, Alkasim Abdullahi, Yusuf Abdullahi, Mustapha Bala Ibrahim, Jafar Ahmad, Adamu Balarabe, Aminu Abdulkadir,Abdullahi Zango and Garba Yusuf.
Others are Hussaina Imam,Bashir Kurawa, Saadatu Umar, Tijjani Abdullahi, Maryam Garba and Shamsu Sani.
They are charged with five counts of criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by public servant, theft and forgery.
in his ruling, Chief Magistrate Mustapha Sa’ad-Datti, admitted the two Shari’a Court judges, and 12 others to N1 million bail each and two reliable sureties in like sum.
He said one of the surety must deposit N200,000 as security,while the second surety must provide a landed property with a title document worth N10 million in Kano.
Sa’d-Datti also admitted a cashier (Hussaina) and four others to bail in the sum of N10 million each and two reliable sureties in like sum.
He said one of the surety must present an affidavit that the defendant will not jump bail and deposit N5 million as security.
“The second surety must have a landed property worth N200 million with certificate in Kano”
He urged the prosecution to provide all the necessary documents concerning the matter to the defense counsel.
He adjourned the matter until Feb.14, for hearing.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Zahraddeen Kofar-Mata told the court
that from 2018 to 2021, two Shari’a Court judges criminally conspired with 12 others breached the trust as public servant, acted jointly and create 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned the sum of N96.2 million.
“The alleged N96.2 million was remitted by the Kano State Pension Fund Trustee to the bank accounts of Kano State Sharia Court Appeal”
Meanwhile, Kofar-Mata also alleged that between 2020 and 2021, Hussaina used her position as a cashier at the State Shari’a Court of Appeal, conspired with four others and forge letter head papers of Sharia Court of Appeal.
“The defendants forged the signatures of the two signatories to the Stanbic IBTC bank account 0020667440 belonging to the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and stole N484 million”
He alleged that the defendants fraudulently authorised the bank to transfer the amount to various bank accounts without the consent of the authorised persons.
The defendants, the police said, stole the amount through eight Sharia Courts under the Kano State Sharia Court Appeal without the consent of the authorizing authority.
The defendants, however, denied committing the offence.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 97, 79, 315, 287 and 363 of Penal Code.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Garzali Datti, M I Galadanchi, and seven others adopt similar bail application pursuant to section 35 and 36 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 as amended,168 and 172 of Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019 Kano.(NAN)