ICPC staff, lawyer mobbed at Yerima’s arraignment in Gusau

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.

“By that time, the judge, Justice Bello Shinkarfi had granted bail to the three accused persons but we couldn’t stay to know if they were able to perfect the conditions of their bail. The three accused persons, including the former governor were granted bail in the sum of N100 million each and two sureties in like sum. The sureties are to have properties worth N150 million which must be situated within Gasau”, he said.

But Barr. Raheem told The Guardian that he had received information from his colleague with whom he appeared for ICPC, that the accused persons were making efforts to perfect their bail term.

“I have been informed that the accused persons are presently in court and are making efforts to perfect their bail terms. They are yet to bring forward the titles to their properties. It might be difficult to get a single property that is worth N150 million within Gusau but I think by the time they combine several properties, they will be able to meet the conditions considering the caliber of persons that came to court with the former governor”, the prosecution counsel told The Guardian while also informing that the case has been adjourned till February 29 and March 1.

The former Zamfara state governor is being prosecuted by the ICPC for alleged N1.6 billion fraud before Justice Bello Shinkarfi of the High Court of Zamfara State sitting in Gusau. The other suspects in the case are Alhaji Isham Dikko, Development Management Limited and HAD Nigeria Limited

The said amount, was obtained as loan and was allegedly diverted to frivolous use though it was meant to execute some projects in the state. N1 billion of the loan, which was approved by the state House of Assembly was obtained by Sani’s administration for the repair of collapsed Gusau dam and settlement of the victims of the said dam while the remainder of N600 million was alleged to have been illegally obtained without the approval of the House of Assembly and was also diverted.

Though the main purpose of obtaining the N600 million loan was for the purpose of executing the sale of 50,000 metric tones of assorted grains to the Federal Government, much of the sum was allegedly diverted and only 9, 181.89 metric tons of the grains was supplied to Federal Government.