Nicholas Ukachukwu, Former Nassarawa State Governor, Alhaji Adamu Arraigned On 149 Charges
Former governor of Nasarawa state, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu was on Wednesday March 3 arraigned along with 18 others before a Federal High Court, Lafia, on a 149 count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice I.M. Buba for allegedly looting the state treasury to the tune of about N15 Billion during Adamu's eight year tenure as governor of the state.
Others arraigned alongside the former governor were: Alhaji Halilu Bala Usman, Alhaji Usman Aboki, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Prince and Princes Limited, Jonabel Engineering Nigeria Limited, JCC International, Mbani Construction Company Limited, Shinco Nigeria Limited, Henry & Nick Associates Limited, Water Search Nigeria, Sneccou Group of Companies, Nicas Industry Limited, Addais Nig Limited, Faslan Ventures Limited, Yoojin Nigeria, Kiagama Coy Limited, Sharafa Bros Nig and Riok International.
Count one of the 149 count charge reads: “That you Alhaji Adamu Abdulahi whilst being the governor of Nasarawa State and Alhaji Aliyu Bala Usman, whilst being the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Nasarawa State between May 1999 and May 2007 and 2002 to 2007 respectively, within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, agreed to do or to cause to be done an illegal act to wit, authorized directly, effect or procure the withdrawal of the sum of N2, 456,000,000.00 in 36 months from the State Local Government Joint Account for a purpose and in a manner not authorized by law and that the same act was punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.
Count two reads: “That you, Alhaji Abdulahi Adamu whilst being the governor of Nasarawa state and Alhaji Halilu Bala Usman, whilst being the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Nasarawa state between May 1999 to May 2007 and 2002 to 2007 respectively within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did authorize, direct, effect or procure the withdrawal of the sum of N2, 456, 000,00.00 in 36 months from the State/Local Government Joint Accounts, belonging to 13 Local Government Councils of Nasarawa state contrary to Section 7(6) (A), 162 (5), (6), (7) and (8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the Local government laws of Nasarawa State and the Joint Account Law, intending therefore to cause injury to the public and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 104 of the Criminal Code Act.
After reading the charges to the accused, defence Counsel, Barrister Pius Akubo argued that they would need time to study the charges before taking of plea, as they were only served few minutes before proceedings.
He also pointed out that only three of the 20 accused were in court, even as one of the accused, Baba Gbefwi's name was missing from the list of the accused on the charge sheet.
But prosecution counsel, Adeniyi Akintola,SAN argued that the other suspects not physically present in court are companies used by the human suspects to perpetuate the criminal act. He therefore urged the court to adjourn for a few hours to enable the defence study the charges against them and take their plea accordingly.
After listening to arguments from both counsel, Justice Buba adjourned proceedings for one hour. At the resumed hearing, the Judge ruled that the prosecution has a duty to amend the charge sheet by including the missing name and properly serve the charges on the defence.
While adjourning the case till March 15, 2010, the Judge also, against the prayers of the prosecution, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500 million and two sureties who must have landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court; and who will guarantee that the accused would not frustrate the diligent prosecution of the case against them.| Article source