N15 Billion Fraud: Doma & 8 Others Remanded in EFCC Custody

Oct 19, 2011 – N15 Billion Fraud: Doma & 8 Others Remanded in EFCC Custody

ABUJA—A Federal High Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, has ordered a former governor of the state, Aliyu Akwe Doma and eight other accused persons arraigned by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over money laundering charges to be remanded in the commission’s custody till tomorrow.

The order by the court, presided over by Justice Marcel Awokulehin, followed bail applications filed by counsel to all the accused and the counter- application filed by lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, opposing the bail bid.

The former Nasarawa governor was docked, Tuesday, on a 17-count charge of laundering stolen state funds totalling over N15 billion. He was arraigned with Senator John Dangoyi, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, Timothy Anthony Anjide, Dauda Egwa, Suleiman Ibrahim, Broworks Ltd and Green Forest Investment Ltd while charges filed against two other accused, John Aigbakhode and Incapint Nig Ltd, who are still at large, were stepped down.

At 9.30 a.m, the accused, who were brought in from Abuja under heavy security by EFCC operatives, were called into the dock to take their plea. One after the other, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges after which the defence team led by Lateef Fagbemi, Charles Edomosoran and M.I. Ameh, informed the court of their pending applications for bail for the accused.

In his response, the prosecution counsel, Pinheiro, informed the court that he was served 10 applications between Monday and yesterday, and as such would need the court to adjourn for three hours to enable him file his response opposing all the bail applications.

The trial judge agreed with the prosecution after which the court went on a recess and resumed sitting at 2pm.

At the resumed sitting, the prosecution counsel filed his application opposing the request by the accused to be granted bail. Justice Awokulehin, who had earlier assured the prosecution and the defence of his preparedness to give the case expeditious trial, thereafter adjourned till today, when he would rule on the applications and counter-applications filed by both sides in the case.

He, therefore, ordered all the accused be returned to EFCC custody in Abuja.

Meanwhile, a former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, and four others who are facing an 18-count charge of money laundering and diversion of public funds preferred against him by EFCC, was yesterday admitted to bail on stringent conditions by a Federal High Court, sitting in Gombe.

In his ruling on the bail application, Justice Babatunde Quadri said all the five accused persons should present two sureties each in the sum of N200 million. The sureties are also to have properties in the metropolis of Gombe and the properties, which must be supported with a letter from the Ministry of Land, must be free from any encumbrance.

The court also ruled that the sureties, who must deposit their international passport with the Court Registrar, must produce three years tax clearance. They are, however, to be remanded in prison custody until the fulfilment of the bail conditions.

The other four accused persons arraigned with Goje are; Alhaji Sabo Mohammed Tumu, former Gombe State Government House food supplier; Alhaji Aliyu Ubadone el-Nafaty, former Executive Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Gombe; S. M. Dokoro, proprietor of S. M. Dokoro and M. Dokoro Gombe. (Vanguard)