In our review of high profile corruption trials today, former Minister of Water Resources, Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, and Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former Executive Governor of Nassarawa State, are our uninvited guests in a multibillion Naira racketeering.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu was accused of N15 billion misappropriation, while Muktar Shagari was hand deep in N500 million money laundering.
The Federal High Court in Sokoto, Sokoto State, on May 21, 2018, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arraign Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, former Minister of Water Resources, and four others for N500 million fraud.
Mukhtar Shehu Shagari was arraigned alongside Ibrahim Gidado, Nasiru Dalhatu, Ibrahim Milgoma and Abdullahi Mohammed Wali on charges ranging from conspiracy to money laundering in relation to the case against Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources. ‘
The defendants were alleged to have participated in the sharing of the $115 million largesse from the former minister intended to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
The EFCC has been in court with Diezani since the beginning of the Buhari administration.
In the course of its investigation, it traced properties valued at millions of dollars to the former minister at Banana Island, Lagos.
In August 2017, Justice Chuka Obiozor, a judge sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the final forfeiture of a $37.5m (N11.75bn) property on Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly belonging to Diezani.
The order followed an ex parte application filed on July 17, 2017, by the EFCC.
The judge had on May 24, granted the accused bail in the sum of N25 million each with two sureties in like sum and fixed July 5 for hearing.
The case came up on Thursday July 5, 2018 before the Federal High Court in Sokoto but was adjourned till October 3, due to the absence of the judge.
However, no further update is available to determine the current status of the case.
We couldn’t establish whether it came up in the court on the expected adjourned date which was October 3, 2018.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former Executive Governor of Nassarawa State was in 2010 charged in suit No. FHC/LF/CR8/2010 before Federal High Court, Lafia.
Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu was the governor of Nasarawa State from 1999 to 2007.
He represents Nasarawa West Senatorial District and is the Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture. In February 2010, the EFCC arrested the lawmaker for allegedly misappropriating N15 billion alongside eighteen others.
He was subsequently arraigned on a 149-count charge of fraud to the tune of N15 billion, before Justice Ibrahim Buba, who was later replaced in the case by Justice Marcel Awokulehin.
The lawmaker and his co-accused denied all the charges and challenged the jurisdiction of the court to try the case.
They argued that the money in question belong to the people of Nasarawa State and therefore does not fall under the purview of the Federal Government and the EFCC to investigate and prosecute.
The court, however, ruled against the accused persons and ordered them to face trial.
The lawmaker and his co-accused subsequently appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeal sitting in Markudi, Benue State.
However Adamu claimed that the case had been terminated in the ruling on his case by a Federal High Court in Lafia dated June 28, 2016 with reference number FHC/LF/CR/08/2010.
The court presided over by Justice A. A. Okeke had while ruling on the application by the prosecution counsel struck out the case and discharged Adamu and the eleven other accused persons.
[This Publication includes part of a compendium by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) covering corruption cases as at 22nd of November, 2019.