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N30M FRAUD: ABSCENCE OF JUDGE STALLS DEP. SPEAKER’S TRIAL

By NBF News
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The absence of Justice Marcellous Awokenlehin of Federal High Court, Kaduna, on Monday stalled hearing of the case of alleged fraud against the Deputy Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Dr Mato Dogara.

Dogara and six others were charged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday Jan. 14, for alleged conspiracy and fraud amounting to N30 million.

The other accused persons in the case are Kabiru Tahir, former Interim Committee Chairman of Lere local council; Ahmed Yahya, its former Director of Finance and Billy Graham, a former Director of Works.

Others are Yushau Aboki, an ex-Director of Personnel; Hannatu Iliya, the Head of Health, and Eric Alhassan, a former acting Chairman of the council.

Awokenlehin had on Jan. 28 granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N1.5 million each.

The court ordered the deputy speaker to present two sureties on the level of Director in the Federal Civil Service, while the six others were directed to present two Assistant Directors in the state civil service as sureties.

The judge directed that each of the sureties must own a certified landed property in Kaduna.

Justice Awokenlehin adjourned the case to Feb. 10 and 11 for continuation of hearing.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the parties were told that the judge had travelled and the case was adjourned to Feb. 21 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the EFCC had through its counsel, Sa'ad Hannafi, filed a six-count charge of conspiracy and fraud against them.

The commission said the offence was contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004.