Wednesday, August 4, 2021

N29 Billion Fraud: Ex-Gov. Nyako, son know fate Monday

Court has fixed July 19 to rule on a no-case submission filed by ex-Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, his son, and three others.

• July 16, 2021
Former Adamawa Governor Murtala Nyako
Former Adamawa Governor Murtala Nyako

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has fixed July 19 to either rule on a no-case submission filed by ex-Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, his son, and three others or deliver judgment in the case.

Justice Okon Abang fixed the date after counsel concluded arguments on the no-case submission filed by the defendants.

At the resumed hearing, counsel to Mr Nyako, Ibrahim Isiaku, told the court that all the cases cited by the prosecution in support of its case were irrelevant.

According to Mr Isiaka, who said he was holding the brief of Kanu Agabi for a charge relating to money laundering to succeed, it must be proved that the money laundered is a subject of an illegal act.

He, however, held that the prosecution provided no such evidence to support its. He prayed the court to uphold the no-case submission and dismiss the case.

Counsel to the third defendant, T.A Rapu, told the court that in Mr Metuh’s case, though the Court of Appeal set aside the judgment of the trial court, the judgment set aside was not on the determination of facts and evaluation of evidence.

“That being the case, it is distinguishable between our case and Metuh’s case as the money from the National Security Adviser’s office was received and spent in Metuh’s case.

She, however, held that in her client’s case, the monies from the Adamawa government to him were his salaries when he worked with the state government.

The lawyer explained, “Even when they were wrongly sent to his account, which was after he resigned, he refunded the money not once, which can be seen in the evidence tendered through PW 15, the Accountant-General of Adamawa.

“After he returned the money, he wrote a letter reminding the government that he had resigned from office and didn’t deserve the salary.”

The lawyer urged the court to uphold the no-case submission filed by her client.

Responding, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, counsel to the EFCC, told the court that in Mr Metuh’s case, the person who committed the predicate offence, Sambo Dasuki, was not standing trial with Metuh.

“In this case, the persons that committed the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are all before the court,” he stated.

Mr Atolagbe urged the court to discountenance the no-case submission and order the defendants to open their defence.

Mr Abang directed counsel to submit copies of fresh authorities cited in support of their case.

He adjourned the matter until July 19 for ruling on the no-case-submission or for judgment in the substantive case adding that it was subject to the availability of judicial time.

The EFCC is prosecuting the former governor, his son, Abdul-Aziz, two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd, over money laundering offences.

Other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd, and Crust Energy Ltd. The EFCC had arraigned them on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office, and money laundering.

The trial began in 2015, and the anti-graft agency called 21 witnesses to establish its case against the defendants.

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