Court Arraigns Former Chief Of Staff To Matawalle, Four Others

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The former Deputy Chief of Staff To Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Bashir Mohammed Maru, and four others have been arraigned in the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Gusau, the State capital over the misappropriation of an official Hilux vehicle.

The five accused persons were arraigned in court on two-count bothering criminal conspiracy and misappropriation of an official Hilux vehicle issued to the former Deputy Chief of Staff, Bashir Mohammad Maru.

Those who were charged to court with the Deputy Chief of Staff were Isah Usman, Shuiabu Musa, Yusuf Bello, and Mallam Yazid.

However, the first accused person, Isah Jabir Usman, and the second accused person, Shuiabu Musa were brought to court but the three other Suspects including Bashir Maru are still at large.

The two arrested suspects who appeared in court pleaded not guilty to the two offences of which they are being accused.

Addressing Journalists after the Court’s session, the counsel to the state government, Mohammed Aminu said, the Zamfara State Government had sought the court to adjourn the matter to a later date to enable the police to conduct further investigation and apprehend the three fleeing suspects who still are at large.

While counsel to the first accused Person vehemently objected to the application of the complainant counsel, hinging his argument on the fact that, the state’s Attorney General has taken over the matter from the Nigeria Police and therefore Should be conversant with the matter in question.

He also argued that the police have the power to arrest and it is their responsibility to arrest the fleeing suspects.

He further argued that the Chief Magistrate court 1 lacks the jurisdiction to grant the application and entertain the matter and urged the court to discountenance the application and transfer the matter to a sharia court of competence jurisdiction given the fact the accused Persons professed Islamic faith.

Counsel to the second accused person aligned himself with all the submissions of the counsel to the first accused Person and adopt the same.

He also argued that since the offences which the accused persons have been arraigned in the Chief Magistrate court 1 are not capital in nature are inherently within the power of the sharia court.

The presiding judge, Justice Sa’adu Garba in his ruling, said having heard the arguments of both parties on the matter.

“I would not waste my time, taking into cognizance of the Zamfara State law number 7 and the court with greater power that can handle this kind of matter is the State’s high court and for that reason.”

“The matter shall be referred to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to transfer to the State’s high court.”

He, therefore, directed that the two accused persons be remanded in the correctional facility to appear in the higher court.

The court will consider the application for a bail of the two accused persons brought to court at a date to be communicated to both parties on the matter.

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