Court remands judges and cashiers in Kano for N500m stealing

19 Jan 2023

Hussaina Imam, a cashier for the Kano State Sharia Court Division, and 14 other people, including judges and registrars, were arraigned and remanded in custody on Wednesday night for allegedly committing offenses that included theft, forgery, criminal conspiracy, joint act, criminal breach of trust by public servants, and forgery.

Sections 97, 79, 315, and 289 of the Penal Code Law are violated by the offenses.

The prosecution attorney, Zaharaddeen Mata, requested permission from the court to read the defendants the contents of the First Information Report during the case's appearance before Chief Magistrate Mustapha Sa'ad Datti on Wednesday. This request was made in accordance with Section 129(7) of the Kano State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019.

According to the FIR, “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 a related charge, the defendants were charged with stealing by a clerk or servant in violation of Sections 97, 79, 315, and 289 of the Penal Code as well as criminal conspiracy, joint conduct, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and such offenses.

“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, 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 authorising authority.” The First Information Report Reads.

To the allegations, each defendant entered a not-guilty plea.
In the meantime, their legal counsel requested that the court admit the defendants on bond.

Garzali Datti Ahmad, Sani Yakubu Ibrahim, Mubarak Mai Wada, Bashir Ahmad, and Mustapha Hussein encouraged the court to use its jurisdiction in a just and prudent manner in their respective submissions.
They claimed that the application was submitted in accordance with Sections 35 and 36 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria's 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Sections 168 and 172 of Kano's 2019 Administration of Criminal Justice Law. Mata encouraged the court to take into account the significant amount at stake in the case before granting bail in his response to the defense attorneys' requests for bail.

"Given the significant sum allegedly involved in the alleged crime, we urge the court in accordance with section 175 of the 2019 ACJL to require the defendants to deposit some money or valuable property as security," the lawyers said.

Trial Magistrate Mustapha Sa'ad Datti ordered the defendants to remain in custody and postponed the case's hearing until February 1, 2023.

Punchng, 'N500m theft: Court remands judges, cashiers in Kano' (online, 2023) <>.

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