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Fg Hires Ex-icc Prosecutor To Try Supreme Court Officers

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SAN FRANCISCO, November 18, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has hired Charles Adeogun-Philips, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), to lead its team of lawyers to prosecute the Supreme Court Registrar and others for alleged N2.2b fraud.

THEWILL recalls that the Federal Government, on November 3, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had filed a nine-count criminal charge against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Saleh Gambo, before an Abuja High Court. 

Gambo was charged alongside the Assistant Director of Finance at the apex court, Rilwanu Lawal, and the Deputy Director of Finance, Sharif Abdulrahman.

The trio were alleged to have diverted N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, into personal bank accounts domiciled at United Bank For Africa Plc with account number 2027642863 and received gratification up to the sum of N10 million from a private contractor to the Supreme Court contrary to section 10(a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The three officials are also accused of receiving N74.4m gratification from contractors between 2009 and 2016.

The contractors from which they allegedly received the gratification are Willysdave Ltd., Welcon Nig. Ltd., Dean Musa Nig. Ltd., Ababia Ventures Ltd. and MBR Computers Ltd.

However, the arraignment of the three accused officials of the apex court was put off by Justice Abba Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja because Sharif, was absent while Saleh and Lawal were in court.

Garba Tetengi (SAN), who announced appearance for Sharif, said he was ill and was on admission at the hospital. He sought an adjournment, which other defence lawyers – Abdulhakeem Mustapha – SAN – (for Saleh) and I.K Sanusi – SAN (for Lawal) did not object.

The Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation (DPPF), Mohammed Umar, who led the prosecution team, yielded proceedings to Adeogun-Philips, who spoke for the prosecution.

Adeogun-Philips said he was unhappy that Tetengi could not provide any document to show that Sharif was on admission in the hospital.

Justice Mohammed rescheduled the arraignment for December 15 .

Story by Oputah David