Court Dismisses N36bn Corruption Charges Against Ex-Jigawa Governor Turaki

Turaki appeared at the court Thursday morning to face the 32-count corruption charge filed against him and his co-defendants 14 years ago.


Senator Ibrahim Saminu Turaki

 Senator Ibrahim Saminu Turaki

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Dutse has dismissed a corruption case brought against ex-Jigawa State Governor, Senator Ibrahim Saminu Turaki.

Turaki and three additional companies were being prosecuted on a 33-count by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission in connection with allegations of corruption to the tune of N36 billion.

Turaki appeared at the court Thursday morning to face the 32-count corruption charge filed against him and his co-defendants 14 years ago.

In his ruling on Thursday, the trial judge, Hassan Dikko, struck out the case over lack of diligent prosecution by the anti-graft agency.

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The prosecution counsel was absent during Thursday’s session.

The court also mandated that Saminu Turaki, the first accused party, receive immediate access to his travel documents.

One of the defence attorneys, Saidu Muhammad Tudunwada, responded to the verdict by saying “that the court had found merit in their request for the accused to be exonerated of the 33 count accusations.”

He continued by saying that the decision served justice and was a win for everyone.

Turaki governed the North-Western state from 1999 to 2007. After exiting office on May 29, he was first arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on 13 July 2007 on a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36 billion while in office.

The ex-governor was thereafter granted bail in the sum of N100 million.

Four years later, the case was transferred to the Federal High Court, Dutse, after Turaki successfully challenged the territorial jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Abuja to hear the case.

He was subsequently re-arraigned on the same 32-count charge at the Dutse Division of the Federal High Court.

As a result of the repeated absence of the ex-governor from the court, the case was stalled for years, until he ran out of luck when EFCC arrested him on 4 July 2017 at an event in Abuja.

Since May 4, 2007, Turaki and three additional companies have been on trial for a 33-count charge presented by the EFCC.

Two months after he was charged with 33 counts by the EFCC and appeared before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.