June 17, 2024

Alleged Ganduje fraud: Court to decide on service of charges via substitute means May 16

A Kano High Court has fixed May 16, 2024, to rule on the heated arguments regarding delivering criminal dharges to former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat Ganduje and six others, through substituted means.

The prosecuting counsel in the criminal case, Barrister Adeola Adedegbe, is asking the court to allow him to send service charges through substitute means to respondents.

Justice Usman Na’abba, the presiding judge, who listened attentively to arguments and counterarguments of the defendants and prosecuting counsels on the case on Monday, and on whether the respondents could be served through substitute means, refused to hasten his ruling on the matter as requested by one of the counsels.

The counsel representing respondent number six, Lamash Properties Limited, Barrister Nuraini Jimoh SAN, argued that respondents in a criminal case cannot be served through substitute means and the position of Kano Laws that allowed for that could be applicable in a case where the Federal Constitution has a say in it.

In his argument, he described the Kano state law as ‘Ultra Vires’ and inferior to the Nigerian Constitution that restricts such action.

He explained that Nigerian law states that service of criminal charges is on the exclusive legislative list.

“Hence, the Kano State Assembly law that allows service of criminal summons by substitute means is Ultra Vires,” he stated.

He further argued that there is no charge before the court against the respondents as the application before it reads, “Application to prepare a charge.”

He added that the attempt to make the court allow service by substitute means, when no effort has been made to reach the respondents, makes the service transfer its responsibility to the court. He added that it is a violation of Section 36 of the Constitution.

On his side, the counsel representing the state government, Adeola Adedigbe, made reference to a Kano State Law 378/5, which allows service in a criminal case to be made using substitute means.

The presiding judge, Justice Usman Na’Abba, said he cannot take an immediate decision on the matter as he has to look at several arguments raised and fixed May 16, 2024, for ruling on the matter.

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