Alleged N1.35bn fraud: Appeal Court reserves ruling in Sule Lamido’s case

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By Francis Ugwu

The Appeal Court on Tuesday reserved ruling in the appeal filed by the former governor of Jigawa , Sule Lamido, challenging the decision of the Federal High Court dismissing his no-case submission.

Lamido, his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, Aminu Wada Abubakar, and their companies, Bamaina Holdings Ltd and Speeds International Ltd are standing trial on alleged fraud of N1.35 billion.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned them before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on a 37-count amended charge of money laundering to the tune of N1.35 billion fraud.

EFCC alleged that Lamido abused his position as governor between 2007 and 2015 and laundered several sums of money .

The anti-graft agency added that the former governor received such money as kickbacks from companies that were awarded contracts by the Jigawa State Government under his leadership.

The trial, which commenced in 2015, saw the commission call over 16 witnesses before closing its case.

The defendants opted for a no-case submission, arguing that the prosecution had not placed sufficient materials before the court to warrant their defence.

But Justice Ojukwu, threw out the no-case submission, and upheld the submissions of EFCC’s counsel, Chile Okoroma, that Lamido and the other defendants had a case to answer.

Ojukwu then ordered them to open their defence at the next adjourned date of the matter, which was November 8 to November 11, 2022.

Dissatisfied with that, Lamido filed an appeal at the Appellate Court.

At the resumed hearing of the appeal on Tuesday, the appellate court reserved judgment on a date to be communicated to the parties.

Meanwhile, hearing in the substantive case before Justice Ojukwu is scheduled to continue on June 19, June 21 and June 22.

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