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Justice Ahmed Muhammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday granted request of the former Governor of Benue State, Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam, praying the release of his International Passport to enable him travel abroad for medical check up.
The judge, while granting the request, also ordered Suswam to return back to the country before the next adjourned date to make himself available for trial.
The judge granted the request after counsel to Suswam, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, through a motion he filed on January 14, 2016 prayed the court to release Suswam’s International Passport to enable him travel abroad for medical check up.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, who raised no objection to the motion prayed the court to grant the request during the holiday period so that Suswam can return back on time to face his trial.
According to Jacob, “I am comfortable with the speed in which this trial is going.
“With the speed in which the trial has gone so far, I believe my lord will deliver judgement in this case before the end of the year.
“I am not opposing the motion for the release of the 1st defendant’s international passport; however, the court should grant the request during this holiday period so that he can quickly take care of his health and come back to face trial,” he said.
Earlier, the prosecution witness, Aliyu Victor, a portfolio manager of Elixir Investment Partner Limited, a brokering firm, told the court following the instructions from Suswam,that proceeds from the sales of Benue State shares amounted to the tune N9, 411,078,000.61.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, he told the court that sometime in January 2014, “Elixir got a verbal instruction from the former commissioner for finance, Mr Okolobia before it was later documented instructing them to remit the proceeds from the sale of the shares to three bank accounts.
He told the court that the instruction from Okolobia was handed down to the managing director of the company, ordering that the money made from the sales be paid into three different bank accounts.
Based on the instruction, a total of N1billion was paid to Benue Investment and Property Company Limited, and N5.3 billion to Benue State Ministry of Finance.
He added that a third payment of N3,111,008,018.51, being part of the money made from the sale of the shares, was credited into the Zenith Bank account of Fanffash Resources, a bureau de change firm owned by Abubakar Umar.
“We complied with the instructions that we should pay the money in the account but at the point of the payment, we realised that one of the accounts did not belong to the state,” he said.
The matter has been adjourned to April 28 and 29, 2016 for continuation of trial.
Nigerian Pilot recalled that Suswam and 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.
EFCC had on October, 2015 grilled the former governor and his former finance commissioner over the allegations.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the nine count charges of fraud and financial misappropriation levelled against them.
The offence is punishable under Section 15, Subsection 3 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act as amended in 2012.


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  • vic

    SUSWAN IS A THIEF AND A LOOTER. YOU CANNOT RELEASE HIM BECAUSE HE WILL NOT COME BACK TO NIGERIA

    THESE CORRUPT HIGH COURT JUDGES ARE REAL CRIMINALS OBSTRUCTION THE JUSTICE AND MISUSING THEIR POSITIONS TO RELEASE THESE THIEVES KNOWING FULLY WELL, SUSWAN WILL NOT RETURN TO NIGERIA. IT HAS BECOME A FASHION IN NIGERIA THAT THESE CRIMINALS ALWAYS FALL SICK AND WANT RUN TO FOREIGN LANDS FOR SHELTER IN THE PRETENSE OF MEDICAL TREATMENT.

    BY THE WAY, FOREIGN MEDICAL TREATMENT IS VERY EXPENSIVE, HOW IS SUSWAN MANAGING HIS COSTLY BILLS?? HE SHOULD GET TREATMENT IN NIGERIA. BUHARI DOES NOT ALLOW MEDICAL TREATMENT ABROAD.

    ALL SUCH NONSENSICAL CORRUPT JUDGES SHOULD BE SACKED, THEIR ACCOUNTS INVESTIGATED AND THEY ALSO LOCKED UP WITH THESE POLITICAL CRIMINALS.

    PRESIDENT BUHARI, SUSWAN SHOULD NOT ESCAPE. HE MUST FACE JUSTICE. IT IS BETTER IF THIS HIGH THIEF DIES EARLIER.