The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wednesday arraigned two former state governors, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Nyako’s son, Abdul-Aziz, before the Federal High Court, Abuja on charges bordering on corruption, abuse of office and money laundering.
Nyako and his son, a serving senator, were docked before Justice E. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a 37- count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.
They were charged alongside Abubakar Aliyu and Zulkifikk Abba. They are alleged to have at various times between 2011 and 2013 used five companies – Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Serore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Towers Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited to siphon over N15 billion from the Adamawa State coffers.
One of the counts reads : “That you Murtala H. Nyako, Abdulaziz Nyako, Zulkfikik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited between January and December 2013 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did disguise the genuine origin of an aggregate sum of N6,366,280,000 (Six Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira), which sums you reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit; moneys derived from the theft of Adamawa State Government’s funds.”
They pleaded not guilty after the 37 count charges were read.
Following their plea, counsel to EFCC, Aliyu Yusuf, asked the court for a date for commencement of trial, and to remand the accused persons in prison custody. However, defence counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, urged the court for an adjournment in order for it to properly go through the charges, as it was served rather late by the prosecution. He told the court that while a bail application for the accused persons had been filed, it would be proper for the accused persons to be held in EFCC custody as against the prison request by the prosecution.
Justice Chukwu thereafter adjourned to July 10, 2015 for hearing on the bail application, and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in EFCC custody.
In the case against Ohakim, Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the Federal High Court Abuja adjourned hearing on the bail application of the former Imo state governor till tomorrow July 9, after he pleaded not guilty to a 3-count charge of money laundering. He was however remanded in EFCC custody.