‘The Supreme Court has no power under the law to stay proceedings in a criminal matter’. — Justice Inyang Okoro
The All Progressives Congress, APC senatorial candidate for Kano Central, and former Kano governorship candidate of the Green Party in 2019 guber,
Abdulsalam Sale Abdulkarim has lost his bid to stop his corruption trial as the Supreme Court on Thursday November 24, 2022 struck out his two applications to stop the Federal High Court, Kano, from trying him.
In dismissing the applications, the apex court further directed the APC senatorial candidate to appear before the Federal High Court Kano to face the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
The EFCC had arraigned Mr Abdulkarim alongside one Michael Edosa for allegedly defrauding Jamman Al-Azmi of monies amounting to $1.32 million with intent to conduct a joint venture business.
The case was dismissed under Justice A.L Allagoa on 9th June 2020, because the EFCC failed to present Mr Al-Azmi, to appear before the court to give evidence in the matter. But dissatisfied, the EFCC approached the Appellate Court in Kano. The Appeal Court in a unanimous decision by a three man panel, delivered by Justice Abdullahi M. Bayero, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and ordered that the defendant be tried afresh by a different judge.
The case was subsequently assigned to Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa for retrial and arraignment fixed for 31st of October, 2022.
But since then EFCC claimed that Abdulkarim has refused to appear before the court on three occasions but headed for the apex court with two applications, one seeking to stop his trial.
However, when the case was mentioned on Thursday, the five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Inyang Okoro ruled that the Supreme Court has no power under the law to stay proceedings in a criminal matter. Both applications were withdrawn and struck out, without objection from the respondent’s counsel, l Musa Isah.