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N950m PDP fund’s trial delays Shekarau from attending APC rally in Kano




Nasir Ibrahim

Ibrahim Shekarau, APC candidate for Kano Central senatorial election district arrived late for the Buhari campaign rally on Thursday due to a court hearing over N950 million PDP campaign fund.

The trial was had been slated for Thursday January 31st and Friday February 1st, 2019 at a Federal High Court in Kano.

At the commencement of the trial on Thursday, counsel to Mr Shekarau, Jibrin Okutepa pleaded to the court to adjourn the matter to Friday to enable his client attend President Buhari’s campaign rally taking place on same day in Kano.

“My Lord, Mr President is coming to Kano today. My client is politician and wants to attend the rally,” he said.

However, the trial judge Lewis Allagoa rejected Mr Shekarau’s request and ordered for the commencement of the trial.

Again, about one and half hour later Mr Okutepa moved another application seeking for the adjournment of the trial based on the predicament of Mr Shekarau being a Senatorial candidate of the APC.

The trial judge rejected the request again, saying he wants continue with the case as the counsel did not provide a valid reason for adjournment.

When the matter was called up, counsel to EFCC Samuel Chiwe presented a staff of EFCC Mahmud Tukur as his first witness.

Mr Tukur told the court that the EFCC has received intelligence report that the sum of N23 billion  has been deposited by former Minister of Petroleum at Fidelity bank in Lagos out of which N950 million was directed to be given to Kano PDP.

He added that the money was received by former minister of Foreign Affairs Aminu Wali and Mansur Ahmad on March 26th, 2015 two days to the presidential election.

“I visited fidelity Bank Kano on April 27th, 2016 where I interviewed the business manager Aliyu Da’u Aliyu and operations manager Saheed. In the course of the interview, they confirmed that on night of March 26th, 2015 they gave 2nd and 3rd defendants (Aminu Wali and Mansur Ahmad) the sum of 950 millionNaira. They provided us with the receipt of payment alongside the identification document of the 2nd and 3rd defendants.

“We invited them, interview them and obtained their statement. The 1st defendant (Mr Shekarau) wrote a statement on May 12th, 13th and 14th,2016, the 2nd defendant (Mr Wali) wrote a statement on May 5th, 1016 and the 3rd defendant (Mr Ahmed) wrote a statement on May 13th, 2019,” Mr Tukur testified.

The court has admitted three exhibits against the accused persons. They are statements obtained at EFCC, receipt of bank payment and letter from the Fidelity bank.

The proceeding which lasted for only 2 hours was interrupted with two recess called by trial judge.

In an unusual move, the trial judge adjourned the case to Friday 1st February, 2019 at his chamber during second recess following a plea by both prosecution and defence counsels.

Mr Shekarau was a minister of education under former President Goodluck Jonathan prior to 2015 general elections. He is now contesting for Kano central senatorial seat under APC.