From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
The Zamfara State High Court V sitting in Gusau has discharged Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima on the allegation filed in by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) upon diversion of over N385m meant for the repair of collapsed Gusau Dam while in power as the state governor.
Ruling on the alleged diversion of the state funds, the Presiding Judge, Justice Bello Tukur Gummi said, the plaintiff has declined to prove that the ‘accused’ (Senator Yarima) had diverted the state funds, adding that, “Therefore he is hereby being discharged by this honourable court”.
The Presiding Judge further said, “ Based on available evidences before the court on the No-Case-Submission which was tendered by the counsel to Yarima, over alleged diversion of state funds by ICPC, the court found it formidable to no further action than to discharge the accused former governor.
It would be recalled that, having listened to the submissions made by both the defence and the prosecution, the trial judge adjourned the case to yesterday (Tuesday) for ruling on the no-case submission.
Speaking to newsmen outside court shortly after the ruling, the discharged Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima praised Almighty God for vindicating him and therefore called on his supporters not to be discouraged from having confidence in his political running.
“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, Counsel to Senator Sani Yarima, Barrister Ifeanyi Augustine Azuamah, has described the court 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, “ Barrister Azuamah.
A Counsel to ICPC while accosted, has declined comment but only could uttered that, he is not in a position to talk on behalf of the Commission but, strongly believes that the ruling will be appealed.
Senator 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 N385.5million and other sums from the N1bn loan meant for the repair of a collapsed dam and rehabilitation of flood victims while he was the state 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 records of ill-health.