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FEDERAL HIGH COURT ABUJA DID NOT DISMISSES EFCC’s N900 BILLION CHARGES AGAINST EX-GOVERNOR YARI

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The attention of Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) has been drawn to the fictitious news making the rounds on social media and some online news blogs that “Court dismisses EFCC’s N900bn fraud charges against ex-Gov Yari.” This news is fake, both in the headline and in content. It is an absurd misrepresentation of what transpired in the Federal High Court Abuja, today February 4, 2021.


It has therefore become imperative for PAPSD to clarify, for the reading public what actually transpired in Court. This is to prevent the gullible and uninformed from being misled by a piece of junk journalism.
Firstly, EFCC has no pending N900 billion fraud charge against ex-Gov Yari before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Instead, it was Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) a non-governmental organization and its Executive Director Alhaji (Dr.) Sani A. Shinkafi, who approached the Federal High Court since July 21, 2020 with an ex-parte Application for Leave to apply for an Order of Mandamus. It was a public interest suit in which the Applicants sought LEAVE to apply for an ORDER OF MANDAMUS to compel EFCC to investigate the Petitions of the Applicants against ex-Gov Yari, Top Government Functionaries, individuals and Private Companies for alleged Misappropriation of State Funds, Abuse of Office and Conversion of Public Funds and Resources belonging to Zamfara State, up to the sum of over N900billion for Personal Enrichment.


The ex-parte Application for Leave was moved before Justice Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja on December 7, 2020. It was adjourned to December 18, 2020 for ruling and subsequently to February 4, 2021. Delivering its ruling today, the Court on its own raised the issue of the Application for Mandamus being statute barred. According to the Court, the Application was filed more than 3 months from the dates of the 3 documents exhibited in the Application, i.e.: Report of Zamfara State Project Verification Committee set up by the Executive Governor of Zamfara State Hon. Bello Muhammed (Matawallen Maradun) MON, dated February 2020; Report of Zamfara State Local Government Projects Verification Committee, dated January 2020; and 2019 Transition Committee Report dated July 2019.


It must be pointed out that the 3 Government Reports listed above were not the basis of the Application for Mandamus. The foundation of the Application for Mandamus was EFCC’s failure to investigate 15 Petitions it received from Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) and its Executive Director Alhaji (Dr.) Sani A. Shinkafi. The 3 Government Reports were exhibited in the Application to lend credence to the allegations contained in the uninvestigated Petitions of the Applicants to EFCC. 


Unfortunately, the Federal High Court Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, relied on the dates of these 3 Government Reports in calculating the 3 months period required to file an Application for Mandamus, under Order 34 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court Rules. The Court did not look at the dates of the Petitions of the Applicants which was the subject matter of the Mandamus. Had the Court looked at the Petitions of the Applicants, the Court would have seen that the last Petition to EFCC is dated July 8, 2020 and was received by the Commission on July 9, 2020. Two weeks later, the suit was filed on July 21, 2020.


In the same vein, had the Court given our Counsel the opportunity to address it on the issue of 3 months limitation of time it raised suo motu, the attention of the Court would have been drawn to the last Petition of the Applicants dated July 8, 2020; duly exhibited in the Application for Leave.
In an unprecedented manner, the Court dismissed the Application for Leave, stating that it was filed more than 3 months after the cause of action arose.  


In a nutshell, above is what transpired before the Federal High Court Abuja today. We have already directed our Counsel, Ifeanyi Mbaeri, Esq. to take steps immediately to appeal against this strange ruling to the Court of Appeal. The allegations in our uninvestigated Petitions to EFCC against ex-Gov Yari for unprecedented theft of public funds belonging to Zamfara State, cannot be summarily dismissed or swept away by today’s strange ruling by Honourable Justice Abang. Interestingly, recent media reports on attempt to move N300 billion in a commercial bank by Yari, has further lent credence to the monumental theft of public funds in Zamfara State under the ill-fated maladministration of Yari.

Alhaji (Dr.) Sani Abdullahi Shinfaki
Executive Director, Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD)

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AHEAD OF THE APC PRIMARIES, ZAMFARA FMR. FED. LAWMAKER MEETS PARTY DELEGATES.

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The former lawmaker who represented Maru and Bungudu Federal constituency Abdulmalik Zubairu Zannan Bungudu has met with party stakeholders from his constituency in his bid to woe their support ahead of the forthcoming APC primaries.

Zannan Bungudu is re-contesting for the same post of member representing Maru/Bungudu at the federal house of reps under the umbrella of All Progressive Congress.

His bid to contest the post followed the recent reconciliation effort between the serving Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle and the former Governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar.

The meeting which took place at the conference hall of City King Hotel Gusau on Wednesday was attended by the APC Chairmen for Maru and Bungud and all the delegates from the two local government areas.

During the interface, vital issues regarding the progress of the APC, Bello Matawalle and all the party aspirants were discussed.

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APC COMMITTEE SCREENS (28) LAWMAKERS IN ZAMFARA

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The APC screening committee sent to Zamfara State has screened (28) aspirants who are going to contest for the posts of members of Zamfara State House of Assembly.

The seven-man committee led by Hon. Babangida Tijjani Banki from Borno State assured that justice would be done to all the aspirants screened.

With the screening of the 28 aspirants, four constituencies may likely go into the primary election if consensus has not been reached between the candidates.

The state House of Assembly has the vacancy of only (24) members representing the (14) local government councils.

The remaining members of the committee include Hon Wakili Aliyu, Hon Abubakar Yarima, Faruk Ibrahim Tsiga, Hon Abdullahi Musa, Hon Adamu Ibrahim and Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim who is to serve as committee Secretary.

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GOV. BELLO MATAWALLE NAMES NEW EMIRS

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Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle has approved the appointment of Alh Muh’d Bello Suleiman as the new Sarkin Zamfaran Zurmi (Emir of Zurmi).

He has also appointed Alh Aliyu Garba Marafa as the new Emir of Birnin Yan doto while Alh Muhd Aliyu was appointed as the new Sarkin Bazai.

The two emirs of Bazai and Birnin Yandoto were appointed following the signing into law the amended Zamfara Emirate Council Act 2022 which led to the creation of the two additional emirate councils of Yandoto and Bazai.

As for the new Emir of Zurmi he was appointed following the dethronement of the former Emir Atiku Abubakar by the current administration of Bello Matawalle

According to the statement signed by the Secretary to the state government Kabiru Balarabe, the Governor also approved the appointment of Alh Habib Lawal Habib khalifa as the new Bunun Tsafe the Senior District Head of Tsafe.

Both appointments take immediate effect.

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