REVEALED: Ex Gov. Of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed Arraigned On 12 Count Charges Of Fraud

Date: 23-02-2024 5:04 pm (2 months ago) | Author: onuigbo felicia
- at 23-02-2024 05:04 PM (2 months ago)
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Former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has been arraigned on 12-count charges related to the alleged mismanagement of public funds amounting to N10 billion. The case is being heard before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court in Ilorin.

Among the charges brought against Ahmed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is the allegation that he spent N1,610,730,500.00 meant for security and running costs in the state to charter private jets during his tenure as governor between 2015 and 2019. This act is said to contravene the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, punishable under the same Act.

Additionally, Ahmed is accused of failing to declare his assets in the Assets Declaration Form provided by EFCC officers after his arrest, contrary to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No. 1 of 2004, which carries a penalty of 5 years' imprisonment.

The former governor was arraigned alongside his former commissioner for finance, Ademola Banu, who faces a 10-count charge also related to mismanagement of public funds during Ahmed's administration.

During the court proceedings, Banu was absent and unrepresented, prompting the EFCC to inform the court that he had jumped bail and request a summons against his surety or a warrant for his arrest.

The defense counsel focused on Ahmed's case, with the former governor pleading not guilty to each count after they were read to him. In response, Justice Evelyn Anyadike issued a bench warrant against Banu and ordered his surety to explain his absence. The trial is ongoing, with further hearings expected in the future.

Count one of the charges reads:

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) between 2015 and 2019 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used an aggregate sum of N1,610,730,500.00, property of Kwara State Government, meant for the security and running cost of the Government of Kwara State to charter private jets through Travel Messengers Limited on different occasions for your local travels and which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: Criminal Breach of Trust or Theft and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”

Particulars of the offence in the count 3 according to the commission, indicate, “That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) and ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State), between January and December 2018 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired between yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: Conversion of the sum of N411,000,000.00 property of Kwara State Government meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known was a proceed of an unlawful act, to wit; theft/fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act”

Upon his plea, Jacobs (SAN) urged the court to fix a date for trial, but Eleja (SAN) through an oral application prayed the court to admit his client to bail. Citing Section 162 of the ACJA, the defence counsel said all the twelve counts against the defendant are bailable. Therefore, he urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the defendant and former chief executive of the state by admitting him to bail.

Jacobs in response, opposed the bail application by the defence, but conceded to the fact that bail is at the discretion of the court.

After listening to the arguments and counter-arguments of both counsels, Justice Anyadike admitted the first defendant (Ahmed) to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.

According to the judge, the sureties must deposit three passports with the court’s registrar. One of the sureties must have a landed property in Ilorin with the title documents of the property deposited with the registrar of the Federal High Court. The sureties must also produce evidence of payment of electricity bills for the last three years.

In addition to the listed conditions, the judge ordered that the sum of N50 million must be paid as bond into the litigation account of the Federal High Court, which will be returned to the sureties after the final determination of the case, but forfeited to the Federal Government in the event the defendant jump bail.

As part of the bail conditions, the court also ordered that the international passport of the defendant be kept with the court’s registrar, which the former governor must apply to get if the need arises for him to travel abroad for medical reasons.

The court, thereafter ordered the defendant to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail terms.

The case has been adjourned to April 29 and 30, 2024 for commencement of trial.

Posted: at 23-02-2024 05:04 PM (2 months ago) | Addicted Hero
- Holopid at 23-02-2024 06:46 PM (2 months ago)
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 Roll Eyes
Posted: at 23-02-2024 06:46 PM (2 months ago) | Gistmaniac
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- fineboy77 at 23-02-2024 08:17 PM (2 months ago)
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Posted: at 23-02-2024 08:17 PM (2 months ago) | Addicted Hero
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