15 years after, court acquits Turaki, ex-Jigawa governor of N8.3bn fraud allegation

After 15 years of standing trial for alleged N8.3bn fraud, a Federal High Court sitting in Dutse, Jigawa State, on Thursday, discharged and acquitted former governor of the state, Saminu Turaki of the corruption charges preferred against him by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had slammed a 33-count charge on Turaki and three other companies. They had been standing trial since May 4, 2007.

The former governor was arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on July 13, 2007.

In 2011, the case was, however, transferred to the Federal High Court, Dutse, after the former governor challenged the jurisdiction of the FCT division of the court.

Subsequently, a new judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, was saddled with the responsibility of hearing the case that was hitherto handled by Justice S. Yahuza but retired in early December.

The presiding judge, Justice Hassan Dikko, who delivered the ruling, struck out all charges and discharged all the accused persons for lack of diligent prosecution of the case by the EFCC.

He also ordered that the travel documents of the first accused person, Saminu Turaki, be released to him with immediate effect.

Reacting to the judgment, Saidu Tudunwada, who is one of the defense counsels, said that the court found merit in their application for the discharge of the accused person against the 33 counts.

He also said that justice had been served with the ruling, declaring that it was a victory for all.