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Judges absence stalls trial of NAMA ex-boss


Ibrahim Abdulsalam

Ibrahim Abdulsalam

The commencement of the trial of former Managing Director of the Nigeria  Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, suffered a set back following the judge’s absence.Abdulsalam is charged alongside six others over alleged stealing and conversion of the agency’s money amounting to N6.8 billion.

The other accused are Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Clara Aliche, Joy Adegorite and two limited liability companies, Randville investment Ltd, Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd.

They are been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).The case which was fixed for continuation of trial, could not proceed last Wednesday, due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Babs Kuewumi, who is said to be attending a conference.

A new trial dates were however issued to parties as follows: November 8, 9 and 10.The EFCC had on April 7, arraigned the NAMA boss, three directors of the agency and the wife of one of the directors, before the court.They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge.  

The charge was subsequently amended to include three more accused persons, and all accused persons where re-arraigned on April 12.They again, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail in the sums of N20 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.

In the charge, the EFCC alleged that on August 19, 2013, the accused conspired to induce NAMA to deliver the sum of N2.8 billion to Delosa Ltd, Air Sea Delivery Ltd and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd.

It was alleged that the delivery was under the pretence that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.It was also alleged that between January 2 and December 17, 2013, the defendants allegedly converted N191 million belonging to NAMA to themselves. 

They were said to have also converted N728 million between 2013 and 2015, as well as other sums.The alleged offence is said to have contravened the provisions of sections 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3).

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