Zamfara State High Court 5, sitting in Gusau, and presided by Justice Bello Tukur Gummi, on Tuesday, discharged former governor of the state, Sen. Ahmed Sani Yarima, over allegation of diversion of over N385 million meant for the repair of the collapsed Gusau barrage.
Delivering his ruling on the alleged diversion of state funds brought against Sen. Yarima by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Gummi said the ICPC did not prove that Yarima diverted the state funds and therefore discharged the former governor.
Justice Gummi said based on evidences before the court on the No Case Submission by counsel to Yarima, over alleged diversion of state funds by ICPC, the former governor was therefore discharged.
Having listened to the submissions made by both counsels to the defence and the prosecution, the judge adjourned the case to Wednesday, for ruling on the No Case Submission.
Counsel to Yarima before the Tuesday ruling, had submitted a No Case Submission which the court ruled on and discharged the former governor.
Speaking shortly after, the ruling, Sen. Yarima thanked God for vindicating him and therefore called on his supporters not to be deterred.
“Alhamdulillah, today is historic as I have been vindicated. I thanked Allah for this because i did not pocket any money meant for the repair of the dam, all money were used for the purpose they were meant for,” he said.
Also speaking, a counsel to Yarima, Barrister Ifeanyi Augustine Azuamah described the ruling as a victory for the rule of law.
“Every crime has essential ingredients that if they are present, could lead to a crime. However if one or more of these ingredients are absent, the law provides that, there is no need for the dependant to enter a defence, ” he said.
A counsel to ICPC said though he was not in position to talk on behalf of the Commission, but he believed that the ruling would be appealed.
Sen. Yarima had earlier been arraigned in 2016 by ICPC before Justice Bello Shinkafi of High Court 4, Gusau, Zamfara State on a 19-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of N385.5 million and other sums from the N1 billion loan meant for the repair of a collapsed dam and rehabilitation of flood victims while he was Governor.
The case was subsequently transferred to Justice Gummi with the agreement of both the defence and prosecuting counsel on account of several adjournments because of the judge’s ill-health.
The Commission’s prosecuting counsel led by Mrs. Christiana Onuogu, after calling six witnesses and tendering 25 exhibits made their final submission while counsel to the ex-governor, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) tendered 8 exhibits.