Senator Shehu Sani On Trial For Advance-fee fraud

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Senator Sani was a member of the last National Assembly, he represented Kaduna Central.  Senator Sani was arraigned on a two-count charge of fraud and bribery by EFCC. Count One of the charges reads:

“That you, Shehu Sani on or about the 20th of November 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Fifteen Thousand United States of America Dollars (USD 15.000.00) cash from Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD) under the false pretense that the money was meant to bribe four (4) Judges and a Prosecutor, pursuant to your discussion with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), during which he informed you that he has directed the four Judges not to hear any case between Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD) and Abubakar Musa, which representation you knew to be false, contrary to and punishable under Section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006.”

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The issue of the bail application which senator Sani had earlier filed was brought up by Sani’s lawyer, Mr. Abdul Ibrahim (SAN) who reminded the court that as a responsible married man with kids, the former Senator would take no actions capable of undermining EFCC’s investigations, speaking further, senator Sani’s lawyer added that if his bail application was granted, senator Sani was ready to present persons of unquestionable character as sureties to ensure his attendance at trial.

One of Dani’s aide asserted that senator Sani will comply with the court, Suleiman Ahmed, said this in a 15-paragraph affidavit which accompanied the bail application, according to the affidavit, on January 9, the former Senator complied with investigators when he was made to do a biometric test, he only declined to be snapped a picture when he was asked by investigators to lift up a placard with inscriptions designed to tarnish his political career.

He prayed the court to grant Sani bail so that he can adequately prepare for his defense, he also reminded the court that the offenses for which the former lawmaker was charged do not attract capital punishment.

The EFCC’s lawyer, Abba Mohammed, opposed this application by Sani’s lawyer, stating that the probability that the former senator would interfere with witnesses in the case was very high and as such urged the judge not to grant the request, Abba Mohammed, added that if the former lawmaker was granted bail he will jump bail.

According to a six paragraphs affidavit he presented to the court, Abba Mohammed, said that Sani had, on several occasions refused to honor the invitation of the anti-graft agency during the investigation.

Justice Ekwo in his ruling said the bail is at the discretion of the court, and since the prosecution had not shown any good reason why the defendant’s bail would not be granted, Justice Ekwo granted Senator Sani bail to the sum of N10 million and one surety in like sum, the conditions for the surety are that

• the surety must have a landed property whose value must be greater than the bail sum and must be situated within the jurisdiction of the court.

• the said property must be inspected and approved by the court registrar.

• Sani must not travel out of the country without the consent of the court, and on this ground, sank was ordered to hand over his international passport to the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), representing the federal government accused ex-senator Sani of collecting money under false pretense, a crime punishable under Section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006, various sums of money.

Former senator Sani is accused of acting falsely as a front for the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and taking from one Sani Dauda a total sum of $15,000 on November 20, 2019.

Count one shows that senator Sani took the said money as part of a bribe for the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to “water ground” for some pending cases that the complainant (Sani Dauda) had in court.

In count two, he is accused of also falsely fronting for the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, and fraudulently collecting under false pretense another sum of $10,000 from Dauda to bribe for Ibrahim Magu.

Commencement of trial has been fixed for February 24, 25 and 26.

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