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N1billion Fraud: Sani Yerima’s Thugs Attack ICPC Staff, Lawyer At Court Arraignment

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A Federal High Court sitting in Zamfara State led by Justice Bello Muhammad Shinkafi has granted bail to former Governor of the state Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima after he was arraigned over 19- count charge bordering on misappropriation of fund Thursday.

 He was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practice and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly misappropriating N1 billion when he was Governor of the state.

Counsel to the accused Mahmud Abubakar Magaji (SAN) had applied for bail.  The accused was granted bail in the sum of N100 million and two sureties who must have property worth N150 million in Gusau, the state capital and one of them must be a resident within Gusau town.

 The former Governor, now Senator was arraigned for alleged mismanagement of N1billion loan meant for the repair of Gusau Dam in 2006.
ICPC had filed 19 charges against the ex-governor in the High Court of Zamfara State, who left office about nine years ago.

 He is being tried along with three others — Alhaji Hashim A. Dikko, Development Management Limited and HAD Nigeria Limited.  About N425, 491,736.75 of the N1billion was allegedly diverted to other purposes, including assistance to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), furniture allowance, consultancy fee, Ramadan feeding, Hajj and purchase of cars.

Investigation revealed that only N574, 508,263.25 was purportedly utilized for flood disaster related matters.  He represents Zamfara West senatorial district on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a related development, staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and prosecution lawyer Barrister Adesina Raheem, were mobbed by supporters of former governor of Zamfara state, Ahmed Sani Yerima at the arraignment of the former governor at the High Court in Gasau on Thursday.

The ICPC lawyer, Barr. Raheem who confirmed the incidence to The Guardian on telephone, said that the mob who were on protest against the arraignment of the former governor, moved to attack him and staff of the ICPC but for the intervention of men of the State Security Service and Mobile Police who whisked them away from the court premises to the mobile police base in the town.

According to one of the staff of the ICPC, who did not want his name mentioned, they were chased by the mob and had to leave the court premises before the end of the proceedings. However, the proceeding had almost reached the conclusion before the mob action became unbearable and the staff were helped to escape by security personnel.