News Court resumes Senator Suswam’s N3.1 billion money laundering trial


- Advertisment -

Court resumes Senator Suswam’s N3.1 billion money laundering trial

News Court resumes Senator Suswam’s N3.1 billion money laundering trial
File Photo

The N3.1bn money laundering case involving a former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has been returned to a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who had twice withdrawn from the case in 2016 and 2019.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Suswam, who currently represents Benue North-East in the Senate, alongside his then Commissioner of Finance, Omodachi Okolobia, on money laundering charges involving an alleged diversion of a total sum of N3,111,008,018.51 belonging to Benue State.

The money was said to have been stolen from the proceeds of the sale of shares owned by the Benue State Government.

The case made the second return to the judge following the February 19, 2020 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which ordered Justice Okon Abang to whom the case assigned late 2019 to withdraw from it and have it transferred back to Justice Mohammed.

On Thursday, the lawyer prosecuting the case on behalf of the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, and Suswam’s lawyer, Chinelo Ogbozor, urged the court to adjourn the case continuation of trial by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

On his part, Okolobia’s lawyer, Audu Aloga, who blamed the prosecution for the delay in the resumption of the trial, urged the court to either adjourn for trial or strike out the charges for want of diligent prosecution.

Responding to Aloga, the prosecuting counsel described the application for the striking out of the charges as unfortunate and baseless.

Justice Mohammed jettisoned the request for the striking out of the case and fixed September 30 for continuation of trial.

Justice Mohammed first withdrew from the case on June 6, 2016, citing an online publication that accused him of compromise to give Suswam a “soft landing”.

But he reversed his decision and thereafter continued with it after the defence and the prosecuting teams prevailed on him through the then Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to continue handling the case.

However, the judge, in a letter dated July 5, 2019, again withdrew from the case and returned the case file to the court’s Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho, for re-assignment to another judge.

The Chief Judge of the court then re-assigned the case to Justice Abang who has since been presiding over the case with four prosecution witnesses already presented by the EFCC within a short period.

But Suswam, an incumbent senator, appealed against the Chief Judge’s decision.

His appeal was partly upheld by the Court of Appeal which, despite adjudging Justice Abang as having shown “commendable diligence in the trial”, made an order directing the Federal High Court’s Chief Judge to return the case to Justice Mohammed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Updates

Mark Bosnich: Kasper Schmeichel would be ‘fantastic’ signing for Manchester United

Kasper Schmeichel is “as good as any goalkeeper in the Premier League”, according to Mark Bosnich, who says the...

South Africa’s rand falls as virus fears hit risk appetite

South Africa’s rand fell to its weakest in more than three weeks on Monday, as fears about the economic...

Governor Masari marks creation of old Katsina province

Katsina State Government has declared 1st of August every year as special thanksgiving day of the state to commemorate...

Leon Balogun hails Rangers duo after impressive win vs Aberdeen

Leon Balogun reckons Connor Goldson’s constant yapping is music to his ears.Rangers’ new defender savoured his opening Scottish Premiership...
- Advertisement -

Manu Garba: Victor Osimhen will be big hit for Napoli in Serie A

Former Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba has expressed firm optimism that Napoli new signing, Victor Osimhen, will be a...

Nigerian Breweries earns N152 billion revenue in six months

Pool PhotoNigerian Breweries Plc says it earned a revenue of N152 billion for the half-year (H1) ended June 30,...
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you