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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Alleged N3.1b Fraud: Lack of Judge Stalls Suswam’s Arraignment

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday failed to arraign former Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam for alleged money laundering before the Federal High Court in Abuja despite the wide publicity the agency gave the trial.

A horde of photo journalists who had laid siege at the entrance to the court premises in anticipation of Suswam’s arrival and arraignment left the premises disappointed when it became clear that he would not be brought after all.
Journalists and lawyers with interest in the case, who had also stormed the court following a statement by the EFCC over the planned arraignment, were also disappointed and left after waiting for several hours.
It was a prosecution counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs [SAN] who told Journalists that the former governor could not be arraigned as the case file was yet to be assigned to a particular Judge by the Chief Judge of the Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta.
Jacobs was among several other lawyers who were in court in respect of the case.

MandyGist learnt that the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta was attending a seminar organized for Judges outside the court premises.
Suswam and his former finance commissioner, Omodachi Okolobia were alleged to have diverted the proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State government and Benue Investment and Property Company Ltd.
The offence is punishable under section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 20111 as amended in 2012.

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