Published On: Fri, Dec 7th, 2018

Diezani: Court remands Ex-Kebbi gov, Dakingari, 2 others

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From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi

Justice Basse Onu of the Federal High Court, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, has remanded the immediate past Governor of the state, Alhaji Sa’adu Usman Dakingari, Sunday Dogoyaro and Garba Kamba in the EFCC custody in Birnin-Kebbi, pending the ruling on their bail application on December 10, 2018.
The Judge delivered the judgment yesterday after prayers by the three lawyers of the defendants.
The defendants were standing trial on 13 counts charge filed by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on alleged conspiracy and money laundering.
They were alleged to have committed money laundry of N450m, part of $115 million and 115 million dollars collected from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison-Madueke, contrary to section 1A of money laundry Act 2015, punishable under section 16(2B among others.
The lead Counsel to the EFCC, J.A Ojogbane, told the court that the defendants were in court and they should take their pleas, and urged the court that the 13 counts charge be read to them for immediate commencement of their trial.
He told the court that they are ready for the trial along with their witnesses.
However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge, as the prosecutor leading counsel asked the court to commence their trial immediately.
Counsel to the 1st defendant, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) while applying
for the 1st defendants bail, told the court that his client was the former governor of Kebbi State without record of criminal cases, and argued that he would not jump bail if granted.
He also pleaded before the court that, the judge should rule in interim on his client’s bail application by remanding the 1st defendant in Kebbi or Sokoto states remand facilities of the EFCC, to avoid long distance and stress associated with travel from EFCC Kano zonal office to Birnin Kebbi.
The counsel to the second defendant, O.A Dada, in his application for
bail supported with 21 paragraphs affidavit, pleaded that if the court granted his client’s bail, he would not dishonour the court by not making himself available arguing that he has been consistently punctual since the commencement of the case before the court.
He also pleaded that if his client would be remanded, they would ally with the submission of the 1st defendant that the EFCC custody in Birnin-Kebbi and Sokoto state should be considered as an alternative.
Counsel to the 3rd defendant, Ahmed Fingilla, in his application before the court argued that his client has represented Nigeria in many countries as a diplomat with track record, without blemished, stressing that the prosecutor had also testified that the 3rd defendant was the accused person that honoured the EFCC invitation at their Kano office, as well regularly appeared before the court since the case commenced in June, 2018.
He also pleaded before the Court that his client should be remanded in Birnin-Kebbi or Sokoto remand facilities of the EFCC, if the court rule in an interim, before the ruling on the bail.
Responding to the Defendants’ Counsels bail application, EFCC Counsel, J A Ojogbane, who did not object to their application, appealed to the count to use its discretion in granting the bail applications.
He noted that the anti- graft agency has remands facilities in Birnin-Kebbi and Sokoto states where the defendants could be remanded before the adjourned date.
Ruling on their bail application, Justice Onu ordered that the three defendants be remanded in Birnin-Kebbi remand facilities of the EFCC, pending the final ruling on their bail application on December 10, 2018.
He adjourned the case for ruling and trial on the same date.

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