- Ohakim gets N270m bail, Nyako knows fate today
Former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, his two sons-Aminu and Mustapha, and one Aminu Wada Abubakar are to remain in prison till September 28, 2015.
The quartet were remanded in prison custody yesterday by Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court, Kano, after they were docked on a 28-count charge of corruption and money laundering filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Lamido and his co-accused were arraigned alongside four companies in which the former governor is believed to have interest.
The companies are Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamiana Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminum Limited and Speeds International Limited.
Lamido is accused of abusing his position as governor between 2007 and 2015, by awarding contracts to companies which he has interest, using his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha as fronts.
One of the counts in the charge reads: “That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited and Speeds International Limited, between 15th October and 18th December, 2008 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did convert an aggregate sum of N124, 649, 915 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Limited into the account of Speeds International Limited domiciled with an old generation bank at Kano which funds you reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act of Alhaji Sule Lamido who was a public officer within the meaning of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as prescribed under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 ( as amended ) to wit; engaging in private business by a public officer, using the said company in which he is a director and a shareholder, and to whose account he is a signatory; with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 14 (A) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.”
When the charges were read to the accused persons, they pleaded not guilty.
Their counsel, Offiong Offiong, SAN, told the court that he had filed an application for bail and urged the court to consider granting the accused bail.
But prosecuting counsel, Chile Okoroma, requested for time to respond to the application.
He prayed the court to remand the accused in prison custody as the EFCC’s holding facilities in Abuja and Kano were overstretched.
Justice Anyadike consequently remanded the accused in prison custody pending consideration of their bail application and adjourned the case till September 28, 2015.
The arraignment of Lamido and his children was not without incident as his supporters threatened to disrupt the court session but the intervention of a detachment of policemen at the court brought sanity to the area.
The Lamidos’ ordeal began in 2012 when one of his sons, Aminu was arrested by the anti-graft agency at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for failing to declare the sum of $40,000.
He was prosecuted by the commission and convicted by the court with 50 percent of the undeclared sum forfeited to the Federal Government.
It was after the incident, that operatives of the EFCC unmasked the corruption and money laundering practices of the Lamidos and their agents. This led to their fresh arraignment and trial.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court, Abuja, headed by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has granted former Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, bail in the sum of N270million.
Ohakim is on trial for N270million fraud he allegedly committed in 2008.
In his ruling on Ohakim’s bail application, Justice Ademola ordered the prosecuting EFCC to submit the passport and other travel documents seized from the former governor to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.
He was however silent on where Ohakim should be kept until he meets the bail conditions.
On Wednesday, Justice Ademola had ordered that Ohakim be kept in EFCC custody pending the determination of his bail application yesterday.
At yesterday’s session, the defence counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, urged the court to grant his client’s bail.
He said Ohakim, whose passport had been seized by the EFCC, had remained faithful to the bail conditions granted him by the anti-graft agency.
But the prosecutor, Mr, Festus Keyamo, opposed the bail application.
He argued that instead of granting bail to the accused, the court should give an accelerated hearing in the case.
The Judge, in his ruling, asserted that Ohakim had placed sufficient materials to earn him bail.
The EFCC had on Wednesday docked Ohakim on three counts of fraud, including making cash payment of $2.29million (N270million) for a property in Asokoro, Abuja with the jurisdiction of the court.
Also yesterday, Justice Evoh Chukwu fixed hearing of the bail application filed by former Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, his son Abdul-Aziz and others for today.
The EFCC on Wednesday arraigned Nyako along with his son, Abdul-Aziz, and others-Zulkifikk Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, as well as five firms for allegedly siphoning about N29billion from the state’s treasury.
The other firms docked with the Nyakos are Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited.