The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Wednesday, presented its first witness in the alleged N1billion fraud involving Senator Sani Ahmed Yerima, a former governor of Zamfara State, and 15 exhibits. The witness was presented at a resumed hearing of the case before Justice Bello Tukur Gummi of Zamfara State High Court 5, Gusau, Zamfara State. The charges border on fraudulent virement, making a false statement, and abuse of office.
During the examination-in-chief, ICPC lead counsel, Mrs. Christiana Onuogu, leading other ICPC lawyers, led the witness, Mr. Abdulrazak Abdulkadir of Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) of ICPC, to present about 15 exhibits in the case against Senator Yerima.
The former governor had earlier been arraigned on a 19-count charge filed before Justice Bello Shinkafi of High Court 4 for allegedly diverting N385.5million and various other sums from a N1billion loan meant for the repair of a collapsed dam and the compensation of the victims. The alleged offences contravened Section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Senator Yerima was granted bail in the sum of N100million and two sureties, who must own landed properties worth N150million. The case could not continue before Justice Shinkafi because of the judge’s ill–health, prompting ICPC to apply for the transfer of the case to another judge.
At the resumed hearing before the new judge, Justice Gummi, the defence counsel prayed the court for adjournment to enable him study the volumes of documents tendered by the prosecution team.
The case was adjourned to 29 and 30 November for cross-examination of the prosecution witness and continuation of hearing.