Alleged N29bn fraud: Ex-Gov Nyako, son, others to know fate July 19




The Federal High Court, has fixed July 19 to either rule on a no-case-submission filed by former Adamawa governor, Murtala Nyako (rtd), his son and three others, or deliver judgment in the case.

Justice Okon Abang fixed the date after counsel concluded arguments on the no-case-submission filed by the defendants.

At the resumed hearing, counsel to Nyako, Mr Ibrahim Isiaku, (SAN) told the court that all the cases cited by the prosecution in support of it’s case were irrelevant.

According to Isiaka, who said he was holding the brief of Mr Kanu Agabi, SAN, for a charge relating to money laundering to succeed, it must be proved that the money laundered is a subject of an illegal act.

He, however, held that there was no such evidence provided by the prosecution to support it’s claim in his client’s case.

He prayed the court to uphold the no-case-submission and dismiss the case.

Counsel to the 3rd defendant, Ms T.A Rapu told the court that in Metuh’s case, though the Court of Appeal set aside judgment of the trial court, the judgment set aside, was not on the determination of facts and evaluation of evidence.

“That being the case, it is distinguishable between our case and Metuh’s case as the money from the National Security Adviser’s office was received and spent in Metuh’s case.

She, however, held that in her client’s case, the monies from Adamawa government to him were his salaries when he worked with the state government.

“Even when they were wrongly sent to his account, which was after he resigned, he refunded the money not once, which can be seen in the evidence tendered through PW 15, the Accountant-General of Adamawa.

“After he returned the money, he wrote a letter reminding the government that he had resigned from office and didn’t deserve the salary.”

The lawyer urged the court to uphold the no-case-submission filed by her client.

Responding, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) told the court that in the Metuh case, the person who committed the predicate offence, was not standing trial with Metuh.

“In this case, the persons that committed the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are all before the court.”

Atolagbe urged the court to discountenance the no-case-submission and order the defendants to open their defence.

Justice Okon Abang directed counsel to submit copies of fresh authorities cited in support of their case.

He adjourned the matter until July 19 for ruling on the no-case-submission or for judgment in the substantive case adding that it was subject to the availability of judicial time.

The EFCC is prosecuting the former governor and his son, Abdul-Aziz; two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd, over money laundering offences.

Other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Ltd.

The EFCC had arraigned them on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.

The trial began in 2015 and the anti-graft agency called 21 witnesses to establish its case against the defendants.(NAN)

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