Court dismisses senior Zamfara government official and others for hijacking official vehicle
A magistrate’s court sitting in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara state, dismissed a former deputy chief of staff to Governor Bello Matagall of Zamfara, Bashir Mohammed Maru, and four others for hijacking an official Hilux vehicle.
The defendants were charged with criminal association and hijacking a public vehicle given to the former deputy chief of staff while he was on duty.
The other four defendants are; Isah Usman, Shuiabu Musa, Yusuf Bello and Mallam Yazid.
But it was only the first defendant, Isah Usman, and the second defendant who appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the two offenses for which they were charged.
The other people have not yet been arrested by the police.
State attorney Mohammed Aminu told reporters after the trial that the Zamfara state government had asked the court to adjourn the case to a later date to allow the police to investigate. further investigation and to apprehend the three fugitive suspects who were at large.
But counsel for the first defendant challenged the attorney general’s plea. He noted that the State Attorney General had taken over the case from the Nigerian Police and should therefore be aware of the matter in question.
He further claimed that the Chief Magistrate Court 1 had no power to grant the request and decide the case, urging the court to dismiss the request and transfer the case to a competent court under Sharia based on the fact that the defendants professed Islamic faith.
Meanwhile, the Presiding Magistrate, Magistrate Sa’adu Garba ruled as follows;
He said, “I would not waste my time, bearing in mind Zamfara State Law Number 7 and the strongest court that can deal with this kind of case is the State High Court and for this reason.
“The case will be brought before the Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice for transmission to the state high court.”
He therefore ordered that the two defendants be remanded in custody to appear before the higher court.
The court will consider the request for release on bail of the two defendants brought to justice on a date which will be communicated to the two parties on this subject.