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DOMA LAUNDERED N15BN STOLEN FUNDS -EFCC

By NBF News
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A Federal High Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State has ordered former governor of the state, Aliyu Akwe Doma and eight other accused arraigned by the 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 the lead prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN opposing the bail bid.

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

At about 9.30am, the accused 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, all SANs 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 step down for three hours to enable him file his response opposing all the bail applications. The trial judge aligned with the position of the prosecution after which the court went on a recess and resumed sitting at 2.00pm.

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

He therefore ordered that all the accused be returned to the EFCC custody in Abuja.While the court session was ongoing, hundereds of youths gathered in two camps metres away from the court premises armed with placards and chanting anti and pro Doma songs. There were however hundreds of security agents including soldiers, SSS and police on ground to contain them.

Some of the charges against Doma and others read: 'That you Aliyu Akwe Doma (Former Governor of Nasarawa State), Timothy Anthony Anjide and Dauda Egwa between January 2007 and December 2009, in Lafia, Nasarawa State within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N5 billion property of Nasarawa State Government being proceeds of an illicit act to wit: Concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.

Count 2 'That you Aliyu Akwe Doma (Former Governor of Nasarawa State), Timothy Anthony Anjide and Dauda Egwa between January 2009 and December 2009, in Lafia Nasarawa state within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N1 billion property of Nasarawa state Government being proceeds of an illicit act to wit: Concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.'

Count 3 'That you Aliyu Akwe Doma (Former Governor of Nasarawa State), Timothy Anthony Anjide and Dauda Egwa between January 2010 and December 2010, in Lafia Nasarawa state within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N274 million property of Nasarawa State Government being proceeds of an illicit act to wit: Concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.'

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 the EFCC, was on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 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 that all the five accused persons are to 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 also deposit their international passport with the Court Registrar must be able to produce three years Tax Clearance. They are however to be remanded in prison custody until the fulfillment 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.

Femi Babafemi
Head, Media & Publicity
18/10/2011