The trial of a former governor of Nasarawa State, Aliyu Akwe Doma, and two others continued yesterday the 15th of March, 2017 at the Federal High Court, Lafia judicial division.
The former Governor, His Excellency Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, the former Secretary to the State Government Mr. Timothy Anjide and former Accountant General Dauda Egwa have all been involved in a protracted legal battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had slammed the former Government officials with a ten count charge at the Federal High Court Lafia on offences bordering on Money Laundering.
It is however worthy to note that the said former Government officials have been involved in this battle with the EFCC since July 2011 immediately after they left office.
After almost 7 years the Prosecution brought its case to an end. In all, the prosecution called nine (9) witnesses and tendered several documents as Exhibits which majorly include Payment Vouchers issued during the tenure of the defendants in the performance of their lawful duties.
The prosecution witnesses during cross examination admitted that all the payment vouchers were pre & post audited in line with the relevant financial regulations and there was no audit query on any of the voucher. The 9th prosecution witness, who is an EFCC official and who was involved in investigation also admitted that none of the alleged funds was traced to the defendants, their family members or any company associated to them.
This admission led the Defendant Counsel to approach the Court with an application of “No Case Submission” at the close of the Defendants case in line with the provisions of Section 303 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) that requires “sufficient evidence” in establishing a prima facie case against the defendants.
The No Case submission, filed by the defendants in opposition to the Prosecution case and the prosecution’s reply were heard/adopted by both counsel during sitting at the court.
The Prosecution was represented by Mr. J.Agoro while the Defendant’s Counsel A.F Yusuf, Seun Awolade, Dayo Ashonibare all led by Mr. OLalekan Ojo who argued that the case of the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to establish any wrongdoing against the defendant and the case of Kalu vs Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) which the prosecution relied on, was distinguishable from the instant case of the defendants.
In the case of Kalu vs FRN, a prima facie case was established because the alleged funds moved from the account of the State Government to a private account but in the instant case money never left the coffers of the state government. Mr. J. Agoro adopted the reply of the prosecution and urged the Court to dismiss the application of the defendants.
The court adjourned till 27th March 2017 for ruling on the No Case Submission.