The trial of a former Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu and two others, Tanko Beji and Umar Nasko, continued before Justice Mikail Aliyu of the Niger State High Court on Thursday, May 12, 2022, with the eleventh prosecution Witness, PW11, Bala Muhammed, concluding his evidence-in-chief.
The trio are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for criminal breach of trust and diversion of ecological fund to the tune of Two Billion Naira
At today’s hearing, Muhammed informed the court how the N2b meant for the execution of ecological projects in Niger state was diverted for an electioneering campaign
“On the issue of the N2b Ecological Fund, the first defendant during the course of interview by the investigation team, clearly stated that they had discussion with the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the N2b Ecological Fund would be used to fund the campaign of Niger state governorship election.”
Consequently, counsel for the first defendant prayed the court to grant an adjournment for him to be fully prepared for the cross examination. But prosecution counsel Faruk Abdallah opposed the application. “While we concede that adjournment is at the discretion of the court, we oppose the application as PW11 testified a month ago and only added to statements,” he said.
Justice Aliyu thereafter adjourned the matter till May 13, 2022, for continuation of cross-examinations.
N125m Fraud: Court Rules On No-case Submission Of Businessman Who allegedly Defrauded GTBank July 5
Justice Sherifah Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, May 12, 2022, adjourned till July 5, 2022 for ruling on the no-case submission filed by one Andrew Warri, who is being prosecuted on a seven-count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Warri, who was arraigned alongside two companies, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited and Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, on June 25, 2021, is accused of defrauding GTBank of about N125 million.
One of the counts reads: “Andrew Warri, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, sometime in May 2012 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the sum of N125,000,000 from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc under the guise that the proceeds of the Rural Health Care and Referral contract with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will be domiciled in your account with Guaranty Trust Bank, the said pretense you knew, or ought to have known is false.”
Another count reads: “Andrew Warri, Ranez Medical Consultancy Limited, on or about 28th October 2018 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, issued a Zenith Bank cheque for the sum of N10,000,000 payable to A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited, in favour of Guaranty Trust Bank, which upon presentation for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to your credit.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
The defense counsel, Nelson Imoh, had, in July 2021, moved his bail application, which was opposed to by the prosecuting counsel, Franklin Ofoma.
He was, however, granted bail by the Court in the sum of N25million, with two sureties in like sum.
Subsequently, the prosecution closed its case after presenting three witnesses and tendering several documentary evidence to prove the case against Warri, who had to be placed on the watch-list of the Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Nigeria Customs Services, NCS, and other local and international law enforcement agencies before his arrest could be secured.
In the course of the trial, the defendant, however, changed his legal team and engaged the services of A.M. Makinde, SAN, who, rather than open his defence, filed a no -case submission.
At today’s proceedings, both parties adopted their written addresses.
While the defence argued that it had no case to answer, the prosecution urged the Court to hold that a prima facie case had been made against the defendant and to order him to open his defence.
After listening to both parties, Justice Solebo adjourned till July 5, 2022 for ruling on the no-case submission.