Court Orders Ex-Gov Suswan, Commissioner Detained Over N3.1bn Financial Scam


Immediate past governor of Benue state, Gabriel  Suswam, and his finance commissioner, Omodachi Okolobia have been remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) pending the perfection of their bail conditions in the Federal High Court in Abuja.
EFCC arraigned Suswam and Okolobia before Justice Ahmed Muhammed over a 9-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N3.1 billion.
They were alleged to have diverted the proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State Government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the nine count charges of fraud and financial misappropriation levelled against them.
The charges border on Section 15(2, 3) of the Money Laundering Act (2011).
After the charges were read, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, stated that he did not object to the application for bail requested by the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji.
He however opposed Mr. Raji’s request that the bail be given on self-recognition and without conditions.
He said former governors jumped bail in the past.
“It is common knowledge that Mr. Ibori jumped bail,” Mr. Jacobs said, referring to a former Delta State governor, James Ibori, who is serving jail term in the UK.
The court ruled that the first and second defendants be granted bail.
Justice Mohammed however gave the conditions of the bail to include a N100 million bond, two sureties who must be senior civil servants of level 12 and above, or any person occupying a national office.
He added that the international passports of the two accused be submitted to the court registrar.
Credits: Thisday, Premium Times