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Two Sharia court judges remanded in prison over ‘N580m fraud’

Two Sharia court judges remanded in prison over ‘N580m fraud’
January 19
15:00 2023

Two Sharia court judges have been remanded at a correctional centre over their alleged involvement in N580 million theft.

Bashir Kurawa, Saadatu Umar, Tijjani Abdullahi, Maryam Jibrin-Garba, Shamsu Sani and Hussaina Imam were charged with five counts of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, theft and forgery.

Other defendants are Sani Muhammad, Sani Buba-Aliyu, Bashir Baffa, Garzali Wada, Hadi Mu’azu, Alkasim Abdullahi, Yusuf Abdullahi, Mustapha Ibrahim, Jafar Ahmad, Adamu Balarabe, Aminu Abdulkadir, Abdullahi Zango and Garba Yusuf.

The defendants were arraigned before Mustapha Sa’ad Datti, a chief magistrate in Kano state, on Wednesday.


Zahraddeen Kofar-Mata, prosecution counsel, told the court that an official complaint was received by the Kano state public complaints and anti-corruption commission from the state ministry of justice on August 20, 2021.

He alleged that between 2020 and 2021, Imam used her position as a cashier at the state Sharia court of appeal to conspire with four others and one Suleiman (now at large) to forge the letterhead of the Sharia court of appeal.

“The defendants forged the signatures of the two signatories to the Stanbic IBTC bank account 0020667440 belonging to the Kano State Sharia Court of Appeal and stole N484 million,” he said.


The prosecutor also alleged that the defendants fraudulently authorised the bank to transfer the amount to various bank accounts without the consent of the authorised persons.

He further alleged that from 2018 to 2021, the defendants acted jointly to create 15 fake civil servants’ death benefit files and fraudulently siphoned the sum of N96.2 million.

“The N96.2 million was remitted by the Kano state pension fund trustee to the bank accounts of Kano state Sharia court appeal,” the prosecutor said.

“The defendants stole the said amount through eight Sharia courts under the Kano state Sharia court of appeal without the consent of the authorizing authority.”


The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and their lawyers prayed the court to grant them bail.

The magistrate however ordered the remand of the defendants and adjourned to February 1 for ruling on the bail applications.

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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