- Dariye, Goje, Sylva, Akala, Gbenga-Daniel,
- Nnamani, others involved
Disturbed by the delayed trial of 14 former governors over their alleged looting of N451billion from their states while in office, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has given the Chief Judge of Federal High Court and his state counterparts December 2015 deadline to conclude all the cases pending in court.
The CJN in a directive disclosed to Nigerian Pilot, asked the court heads to give all the cases before some Federal High Courts and State High Courts accelerated hearing so that that they would be concluded in December, except when there are appeals.
A top judicial officer told Nigerian Pilot at the weekend that the CJN had directed all the trial courts to do away with all the cases and deliver judgement before the end of the year except when they are on appeal before the Appeal Court or Supreme Court.
The source said that the position of Justice Mohammed would soon put an end to the current foot-dragging the trial of former governors Joshua Dariye (Plateau State), Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Aliyu Akwe-Doma (Nasarawa), Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo), Boni Haruna (Adamawa), James Ibori of Delta State (now serving a jail term in London) and incumbent Governor, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State. Fayose’s case started after he was impeached from office during his first term.
Others are former governors Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Christopher Alao-Akala (Oyo), Gbenga-Daniel (Ogun) and Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia).
They allegedly laundered the funds while in office between 1999 and 2011.
Alao-Akala, Gbenga Daniel and Akwe-Doma were docked before the Federal High Courts in their states to answer to criminal charges of theft and money laundering preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The EFCC divided the amount the former governors allegedly stole into three: The first batch looted N291billion, the second set N101billion while the last category defrauded their states of N59billion.
The ex-governors, who were arrested and quizzed by operatives of the anti-graft agency, explained their involvement or non-involvement in criminal charges bothering on financial recklessness, breach of public trust and misappropriation of state funds.
First instance, Sylva was docked before the Federal High Court, Abuja on alleged corrupt charges amounting to N19.5billion.
Goje, who was also declared wanted later turned himself over to the EFCC and was docked before the Federal High Court, Gombe over alleged N52billion loot.
An EFCC source said that the trio had declined to give explanations on some of the allegations raised against them in three separate petitions that led to their arrest and subsequent arraignment. The EFCC operatives however insisted that the commission has proofs to secure their convictions at the trial court.
The lawyers prosecuting for the EFCC are Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, Wahab Shittu, Godwin Obla, SAN and Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.
Nigerian Pilot also learnt that the EFCC has received petitions of alleged abuse of office against 16 outgoing governors.
The EFCC source said the allegations against the governors bordered on money laundering, contract inflation, corruption and theft but declined to give the amount involved and the identities of the governors.
He said the commission could not take action on the petitions because the governors enjoy immunity till May 29, 2015 when their tenure would expire.