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Kano commissioner’s fraud trial fixed for Thursday

Gaya, a serving commissioner, allegedly forged a land title document.

An Abuja High Court has fixed Tuesday and Wednesday for accelerated trial of Aminu Gaya, a serving commissioner in the Kano State Civil Service Commission.

Mr. Gaya was arraigned on January 29 by the EFCC on a 15-coun charge of forgery and obtaining N17 million on false pretext.

When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, Justice Olusumbo Goodluck could not sit because she was attending the swearing-in ceremony of some new judges of the Court of Appeal.

The judges, who were her former colleagues, Mudashiru Oniyangi and Ugochukwu Ogakwu, were elevated to the Court of Appeal.

At the last hearing of the case, the EFCC counsel, Andrew Akojah, told the court that the accused forged a land title document and sold it to one Uche Okoli.

Mr. Akojah alleged that the accused committed the crime in 2006 while he was an administrative officer with the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, in Abuja before his appointment in Kano State. He alleged that the accused forged the document for plot 2794, located at Cadastral Zone C in Asokoro district, Abuja.

The EFCC counsel said the offence was punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act. If convicted, Mr. Gaya faces five years in prison. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The EFCC counsel urged the court to fix a date to enable him present witnesses and also asked the court to remand Mr. Gaya in prison.

Opposing the EFCC counsel’s submission, counsel to the accused, Mahmud Waziri, said granting bail was at the discretion of the court. Mr. Waziri argued that the prosecution`s claim was false, adding, “The prosecution doesn’t have sufficient material to show that the accused had been relieved of his appointment. Also, the prosecution counsel does not have any evidence to show that the accused plans to relocate to the United Arab Emirate.”

Mr. Waziri urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.

The judge granted the accused bail for N5 million with two sureties. She also ordered that the sureties must not be below Grade Level 14 in the Federal Civil Service, and must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

(NAN)

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