N5bn Fraud: Court Grants Ex-Enugu Gov Nnamani Leave For Extended Treatment Abroad

Nnamani-to-courtThe former Enugu State Governor, Chimaroke Nnamani, on Tuesday asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to grant him extension of time for medical treatment overseas.

Mr. Nnamani is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside seven others on a 105- count charge of money laundering.

The others are: Sunday Anyaogu, Rainbownet Nig. Ltd., Hillgate Nig. Ltd., Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig. Ltd., Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty before Justice Muhammed Yunusa, and were granted bail.

At the last adjourned date in April, Mr. Yunusa granted an application filed by Nnamani, seeking leave to travel overseas for medical treatment.

Substantive trial of the case should have started on Tuesday but for the application for extension of time.

Counsel to Mr. Nnamani, Abubakar Samsudeen, told the court that his client had yet to conclude his medical treatment.

He prayed the court to grant the application to enable Mr. Nnamani return and face the trial.

The application was, however, opposed by the Prosecutor, Kelvin Uzozie, who said that Nnamani flouted the order of the court that he should be present in court on Tuesday.

Mr. Uzozie said that the application was a ploy to delay the trial.

He urged the court to dismiss it.

The court granted Mr. Nnamani’s prayer, and adjourned the case to September 25, for trial.

It ordered that Nnamani must be present in court on the adjourned date.

The accused persons were re-arraigned on March 7, following the transfer of Justice Charles Archibong, the initial trial judge.

The EFCC accused them of laundering statutory allocations of some local government areas of Enugu State to the tune of N5 billion.

The commission said that the accused lodged the sum in a secret account.

It also accused Mr. Nnamani of fraudulently transferring millions of dollars belonging to Enugu State to his personal bank accounts in the U.S., with the aid of one Chinero Nwigwe, now at large.

The EFCC said that the accused committed the offences from 1999 to 2007, when Nnamani was the governor of the state.

It said that the offences contravened the provisions of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2004.

The Act stipulates that a person convicted of money laundering is liable to a term of imprisonment not less than five years.

(NAN)

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