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N1.6bn Fraud: Arraignment of Kebbi Accountant-General Stalled
The arraignment of the Accountant-General Kebbi State, Mohammed Arzika Dakingari by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday could not go on as counsel to the defendant told the court that he had filed an application challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.
Dakingari was to be arraigned along with Muza Yusuf, Managing Director, Beal Construction Nigeria Limited before Justice Sabiu Bala of Kebbi State High Court, Birnin-Kebbi for offences bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, abuse of office and money laundering.
Although the accused persons were in court, their pleas could not be taken as defence counsel, Suleiman Usman, told the court about the application he filed challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Usman told the trial judge that he could not continue with the case until the issue of its jurisdiction which had been challenged is determined by the court.
The counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mahmud Bello, told the court that he had not been served with the motion.
“My Lord, I am surprised that my learned friend said they have served the prosecution with the motion. As I speak we have not been served”, he said.
Bello argued that the issue of jurisdiction can be taken at any stage in the course of prosecuting a case and urged the court to take the plea of the accused persons.
Justice Bala, after listening to the argument of both counsels adjourned the case to September 23, 2014 for hearing of the application.
Dakingari is standing trial for allegedly using his office as the accountant-general of Kebbi State to purchase 25 units of Iveco Trucks valued at N175million from Karimat Global Trade Links Limited for his personal company, Cigale Finance SA based in Lome, Republic of Togo but defaulted in payment.
Dankingari was first arrested on Monday, November 18, 2013.