• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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N10bn fraud: Ex-gov, Ahmed, arraigned as court orders arrest of ex-finance commissioner

N10bn fraud: Ex-gov, Ahmed, arraigned as court orders arrest of ex-finance commissioner

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command on Friday, arraigned Abdulfatah Ahmed, the immediate past governor of Kwara State on account of charges bordering on alleged mismanagement of public funds to the tune of N10 billion before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin.

Ahmed, among sundry issues brought by the anti-graft agency against him allegedly spent the sum of N1,610,730,500.00 meant for the security and running cost in the State to charter private jets when held sway as governor between 2015- 2019.

In a statement by Dele Babatunde, head of media and publicity for the anti-graft agency, noted that the offence is in contravention of Section 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) which is punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

He was also accused of failing to make a declaration in the Assets Declaration Form supplied to him by the officers of the EFCC after he was arrested contrary to Section 27(3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No. 1 of 2004, which is punishable with a term of 5-year imprisonment under Section 27(3) of the same Act.

The former governor was charged alongside his commissioner for finance, Ademola Banu, who neither appeared in Court nor had legal representation when the case was called.

Banu, who is listed as the second defendant on the charge sheet is facing a 10-count charge also bordering on mismanagement of public funds while he served under Ahmed’s Administration as commissioner for finance.

When the matter was called, the lead counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the Court that Banu had jumped Administrative bail granted him by the EFCC and efforts to arrest him had proved abortive.

He urged the Court to rely on Section 83 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) to issue a summons against his surety, Salami Bashiru Ola and/or warrant of arrest against the second defendant (Banu).

The defence, led by Kehinde Eleja, SAN, did not put up any defence in favour of the second defendant as he said that his appearance was for the first defendant, Ahmed.

In a short ruling, Justice Anyadike issued a bench warrant against Banu and ordered his surety (Salami Bashiru Ola) to show cause.

Thereafter, the Court took the plea of the first defendant (Ahmed) on each count. When the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty.