Alleged N500m Fraud: Women business group drags Leema to Shari’a court

A Business Woman, Halima Ibrahim, popularly known as Leema, has been dragged to an Upper Shari’a Court, sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano State over alleged N500 million fraud against a group of 31 market women

The case which has been in Court since September 2022, was filed by Habiba Tijjani and 30 others, praying the Sharia Court Khadi to force Halima Ibrahim to pay back the N500 millions she allegedly collected from them fraudulently.

The plaintiffs claimed to have paid the sum of N500 million jointly to Leema, to order furniture, kitchen utensils, toys and household items from China but are yet to receive their goods.

They complained that the said woman refused to either bring the goods or refund them, prompting them to take the matter to the Shari’a court, presided over by Ustaz Ibrahim Sarki Yola.

Some of the women who spoke to Radio Nigeria, Fatima Abdullahi Shehu, Rashida Kardam, Aishatu Abubakar, Aisha Rabi’u, Habiba Tijjani and Hassana Bello from Abuja, Adamawa, Katsina, Gombe and Kaduna respectively said most of those affected reside in neighbouring states and have to travel to Kano for the court case.

They noted that most of them were taken to the Police station by their respective customers, others were divorced by their husbands and about five of them lost their lives due to tension and pressure from customers to refund their money.

They noted that a huge amount of the money was paid to Halima’s bank account in instalments after she advertised the products in her WhatsApp group.

“She later demanded for clearance fee after we placed the order, claiming that uncleared goods would be sold if the fee is not received within a short period.

”Leema had kept pledging to distribute the goods but after some months it became obvious that she defrauded us.

”All efforts to get their money back proved abortive,” they decried.

The women stressed that Halima Ibrahim had never appeared during the court sitting, which was adjourned several times, lamenting that the case had to be stalled on Thursday due to the absence of the defendant’s lawyers and the judge.

They appealed to Sarki Yola to assist them by speeding up the judgement, saying, “as a Judge with proven integrity, we believe that he would get to the root of the matter and do justice to us”.

They also appealed to the Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, to intervene and help them get justice over the ongoing case.

“We also appeal to governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje khadimul Islam and Kano emirate council to come to our aid as we are in a difficult situation. Our life is in danger as our customers are threatening some of us. We don’t have peace of mind,” they cried out.

When our reporter contacted the defendant’s lawyers, Aliyu and Yunusa, they did not respond to phone calls, nor reply to text messages sent to them.

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