N10 Billion fraud: Court stops EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso

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A High Court sitting in Kano State on Thursday restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from arresting a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The commission is seeking the prosecution of Kwankwaso for alleged misappropriation of over N10bn meant for pensioners in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yahaya, ordered the applicant and the respondents to maintain status quo pending the determination of an exparte motion on notice in which the former governor prayed the court to restrain EFCC from arresting him.

Counsel to the accused, Mr. Okechukwu Eze, told the court, “My client has been in his house over the threat of arrest by the EFCC and has been denied the liberty to perform his legislative duties as mandated by voters of Kano Central District.

“We fear that Kwankwaso’s right to liberty, freedom of movement as guaranteed under the constitution is likely to be violated by EFCC.”

The court, however, adjourned hearing on the matter till July 15.

A petition filed on behalf of Concerned State Workers and Pensioners by Bashir Nasir and Co had accused the former governor of depositing N2bn in the Kano branch of the defunct Euro Bank Plc shortly before the bank liquidated.

The petition also alleged that Kwankwaso refused to follow up for a claim of the said deposit from the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The petitioner, who laid the complaint nine days to the expiration of the governor’s mandate, said the action of the accused was a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law.

The EFFC in a separate but related development had maintained that it would persecute anybody found guilty of financial crimes.

The commission said the laws must prevail in any circumstance relating to embezzlement of public funds.

Lead counsel to the EFFC, Wahab Shittu, gave this assertion at the resumed hearing of a case involving the immediate-past Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje at the Federal High Court in Gombe on Friday.

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