The Jigawa State Government has dragged the immediate past Attorney General of the state, Sani Hussaini Garun-Gabbas before the court over allegation of non-prosecution of an appellate case after collecting fees for the job.
In the suit filed before the High Court of Jigawa State by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Dr Musa Adamu Aliyu, the state government alleged that Garun-Gabbas collected N7.7 million during his tenure as the state’s attorney-general, for the purpose of appealing a case at the Supreme Court but he failed to do so.
The writ of summon dated November 5, 2021, seek the court’s order to mandate Garun-Gabbas to refund the amount paid to him as “there was no proof” he worked on the case foe which the money was paid.
Garun-Gabbas, a senior advocate of Nigeria, had served as the commissioner of justice in the state during Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar’s first term between 2015 and 2019.
It would be recalled that the state government had in February 2015 dragged a former local government chairman in the state, Idris Iliyasu Danlawan, and one of his associates before a High Court in the state for allegedly engineering the murder of a village man who booed at their campaign train.
Danlawan was however discharged and acquitted by the State’s High Court. The government also lost on appeal at the Court of Appeal.
But in an April 2018 memo Garun-Gabbas, then as attorney-general of the state, wrote Governor Abubakar seeking funds to enable him appeal the case at the Supreme Court, arguing that the two lower courts erred in their judgements.
His prayer for N7.7 million for the purpose was approved by the governor and paid to the ministry on May 4, 2018.
But in the suit the government alleged that the former commissioner collected the money in cash and did not pursue the case as he promised.
The state government seeks “declaration that the claimaant is entitled to refund of the sum of N7,700,000 (seven million seven hundred thousand naira only) being funds to prosecute appeal at the Supreme Court of appeal in a State v Idris Iliyasu Danlawan and 1 other collected in cash by Defendant from the cashier of the Ministry of Justice and there is no proof that the funds collected were used for the purpose it was collected.”
The attorney-general prayed the court to direct Garun-Gabas to refund the money to the ministry for allegedly failing to fulfill the purpose for which it was meant.
The writ directed Garun-Gabbas to enter appearance personally or through a legal representative within 30 days of receiving the court summon.