- A former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki, may spend a minimum of 77 days in EFCC custody
- Turaki was arrested on Tuesday July 4 by the operatives of EFCC
- The former governor was picked in Abuja at by the EFCC during a book launch at ICC
A former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki, who was arrested on Tuesday July 4 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), may stay in the custody of the anti-graft agency until at least September 19, Premium Times has gathered.
NAIJ.com gathered that Mr. Turaki was arrested at the International Conference Centre, Abuja by operatives of the agency at the launch of a book on the late Zakariya Maimalari, titled: The First Regular Combatant.
Law enforcement agents had been unable to arrest him since a warrant for his arrest was issued by a federal court more than four years ago.
The live airing of the book launch on TV is believed to have alerted the anti-graft agency to Mr. Turaki’s presence at the event attended by major political leaders, leading to his eventual arrest.
He had been on the wanted list of the EFCC since May 3, 2013 when a Federal High Court in Dutse, the Jigawa state capital, issued the warrant for his arrest for serially failing to appear before the court.
The court, presided by Justice Sabi’u Yahuza, had directed the police and the EFCC to apprehend Mr. Turaki on sight and bring him before it.
“You are hereby commanded to arrest the said Ibrahim Saminu Turaki and bring him before me at Federal High Court, Dutse, Jigawa state without delay”, the court ordered the law enforcement agencies.
The order was as a result of Mr. Turaki’s repeated refusal to appear before the court to answer charges of massive looting of his state made against him by the EFCC.
Mr. Turaki, who served two terms as governor of Jigawa from 1999 to 2007, was first arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on July 13, 2007 on a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36 billion while in office.
Following his arraignment, he was granted bail in the sum of N100 million with two federal legislators, Bawa Bwari and Bashir Adamu, standing as his sureties.
In 2011, the case was transferred to the Federal High Court, Dutse after the accused successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the FCT division of the court.
He was subsequently re-arraigned on the same 32-count charge in Dutse but has since failed to appear before the court to defend himself.
He had also since 2013 been evading arrest by the police and the EFCC, until his luck ran out on Tuesday.
Following his arrest, an EFCC source told Premium Times that the former governor would be held in custody until September 19, three days after federal judges resume from their annual vacation.
The EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed the arrest of Mr. Turaki did not provide further information on how long he would be held.
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Premium Times confirmed at the Federal High Court, Dutse that the case was on May 30 adjourned to September 19.
It was further confirmed that the last time Mr. Turaki appeared at the court was in 2011, when Justice Yahaya took over the case after the previous presiding judge, Yunusa Nasiru, was assigned to the election petitions tribunal.
In 2012, Mr. Yahuza took over the case from Mr. Yahaya. But the case continued to suffer series of long adjournments due to Mr. Turaki’s refusal to appear before the court.
NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki, for evading court appearance.
Watch this NAIJ.com video as the EFCC organised a march tagged ‘walk against corruption’ in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja: