LG Chairman Suspended Over N590M Scam

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, August 02, (THEWILL) - A Local Government Chairman, Mr. Raji Owuda Ahmed has been suspended from office on an allegation of fraudulent practices and money laundering to the tune of N590 million naira. The revelation was made at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja before Justice A. A. Kafarati.

Mr. Ahmed was the Chairman of Adavi Local Government Council, Kogi State .

Giving evidence in the case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the petitioner told the court that Ahmed was no longer exercising the functions of his office because he has been suspended from office due to a letter which was jointly signed by the Councilors of the local government and sent to the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The petitioner, who is a security consultant, said his petition to the EFCC was based on the resolution of the joint Councilors of the local government and it is on the basis of this that Ahmed is facing trial.

While adjourning the case till September 30, 2010 for continuation of hearing, the trial judge asked the prosecution counsel, Mr. Wahab Shittu to reproduce the Certified True Copy, CTC, of the petition before the court with the full details of certification.

The EFCC, had on July 7, 2010, re-arraigned Ahmed on a ten-count charge bordering on allegation of fraudulent practices and money laundering to the tune of N590 million. He pleaded not guilty to the ten-count charge.

The former Local Government boss, who was first arraigned on April 15, 2010, before Justice Kafarati was granted bail on stringent conditions which included a N1, 000, 000.00 (one million) and two sureties in like sum, must be a director in the federal civil service with a landed property in Abuja Municipal Council, AMAC, with the certificate of occupancy ascertained by the Deputy Registrar of the Court.

The EFCC had earlier arraigned Ahmed on a six-count charge bordering on criminal misappropriation of funds, money laundering, and diversion of public funds for personal gains.

When the case first came up, EFCC counsel Wahab Shittu had told the court that he was not opposing the bail application brought forward by the defense counsel, but urged the court to impose stringent bail conditions that would compel the accused person to attend trials.

One of the count charge reads: That you Raji Owuda Ahmed while being the chairman of Adavi Local Government of Kogi State on or about July, 2009 within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, converted the sum of One hundred and fifty one million naira (N151, 000,000:00) being proceeds of an illegal act to wit: criminal misappropriation with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 14(1) (a) of the money Laundering (prohibition Act) 2004 and also punishable under section 14 (1) of the same Act.