The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has challenged the no case submission filed by former Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Yerima.
Mr. Yerima, now a senator is standing trial before Justice Bello Gummi of Zamfara State High Court over an alleged theft of N1billion while serving as governor of the state.
ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, made this known on Friday, in a release made available to The NEXT EDITION.
During the case, ICPC’s lead prosecution counsel, Christiana Onuogu, had called six witnesses and tendered 25 exhibits before making a final submission to the court.
On his part, counsel to the ex-governor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mahmud Magaji, had tendered eight exhibits.
But in her submission, ICPC’s Onuogu had argued that the prosecution had proved the essential elements of the offences with which Mr. Yerima was being charged.
Given that fact, she said the principle of a no-case submission made Mr. Magaji failed where the defendant had explanations to make in response to the charges against him.
She also averred Mr. Yerima’s admission of diverting a part of the N1 billion loan obtained from the United Bank for Africa, to other projects and services, corroborated the charges preferred against him.
The action, according to her, was contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Mrs. Onuogu, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the no-case submission entered by the defence counsel.
After listening to submissions by both the defence and the prosecution, the trial judge adjourned the case to December 5, for ruling on the no-case submission.
Mr. Yerima was arraigned in 2016 by the ICPC before Justice Bello Shinkafi of the Zamfara State High Court 4, on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N385.5million and other sums from the N1bn loan meant for the repair of a collapsed dam and rehabilitation of flood victims while he was governor.
The case was later transferred to Justice Gummi with the consent of both the defence and prosecuting counsels on account of several adjournments due the judge’s ill-health.