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South Court affirms conviction of ex-Kogi council boss over N1.4b fraud

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria, last Friday, dismissed an appeal by Gabriel Daudu, a former member of the Kogi State House of Assembly and former caretaker chairman, Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the state over his conviction on a 77-count charge of money laundering

Daudu, who was first arraigned in April 2010, was prosecuted by the EFCC on a 208-count charge bordering on money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N1.4bn.

Counsel to the EFCC, Wahab Shittu, fielded 13 witnesses and tendered 47 exhibits to prove the charges against Daudu.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, who presided over the case at the Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State, found him guilty of the 77 counts and sentenced him to two years imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently.

Dissatisfied by his conviction, the former council boss, through his counsel, J.B. Daudu, approached the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, praying it to reverse the judgment.

But in a unanimous decision on March 1, 2017, the appellate court upheld the ruling of the lower court and dismissed the appeal as “lacking in merit.”

Still not satisfied, Daudu proceeded to the Supreme Court, praying the apex court to grant him a post-conviction bail, pending the determination of the appeal before it.

The apex court in July 6, 2017 granted the convicted council boss bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must have landed property and must be resident in the Federal Capital Territory.

However, in considering the main appeal, a panel of five justices of the Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment, today, resolved all the issues against the appellant (Daudu) and accordingly dismissed the appeal in its entirety.

The convicted council boss, therefore, has to return to prison to complete his sentence.

Meanwhile, the commission has re-arraigned Colonel Nicholas Ashinze before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on a 13-count amended charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N5.6 billion.

Ashinze is standing trial alongside an Austrian, Wolfgang Reinl, Edidiong Idiong and Sagir Mohammed.


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