Contract fraud: Court remands Kano ex-commissioner for works

Engr. Idris Wada Saleh, a former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Kano State, is in the custody of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission over alleged N1 billion fraud.

Engr. Saleh, who served in the administration of former governor Abdullahi Ganduje, was remanded following the order of a Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Kano, on Tuesday.

Saleh is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on false information and return and cheating.

The Prosecutor, Mr Salisu Tahir, Assistant Director, PCACC, told the court that the defendant was arrested on July 3, at about 2:30 p.m.

He alleged that sometime in 2023, the defendant released the sum of N1 billion to Arafat Construction company, No Stone Construction Company and Multi Resources, to rehabilitate 30 roads in the metropolis, noting that the projects weren’t carried out.

Tahir filed an exparte under section 295(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2019 urging the court to remand the defendant at PCACC custody for 14 days to enable them to complete the investigation.

“The defendant has a case to answer of N1 billion belonging to the Kano State government.

“The exparte application is supported by seven paragraphs deposited by one Insp. Sa’id Ilu, attached with six voucher exhibits,” Tahir stated.

He urged the court to grant the application to enable the agency to file a proper charge against the defendant in the interest of Justice and public outcry.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened the provision of section 26 of PCACC 2010 as amended and section 322 of the Penal Code.

The defense counsel, Mr Mustapha Idris, urged the court to grant the defendant bail pursuant to sections 35(6) and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

He said, “The defendant is presumed innocent and the offence is bailable pursuant to sections 168 and 172 of ACJL Kano State 2019 and order 5 rules 1 and 3 of ACJL rules 2023.”

Chief Magistrate Tijjani Sale-Minjibir, ordered the remand of the defendant in PCACC custody for 12 days.

He adjourned the matter until July 14, for a ruling on the bail application.

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