Court remands ex-governor Yero, three others in prison custody
A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has remanded a former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero, and three others in prison.Yero was arraigned alongside a former minister, Nuhu Wya, ex-PDP chairman in the state, Abubakar Gaya-Haruna and former secretary to the state government, Hamza Ishaq.
They were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Shuaibu of the Federal High Court Kaduna on a four-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of seven hundred million naira. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Their counsel, Yunus Ustaz, made an oral application for their bail, assuring the court that they would not jump bail.The prosecution counsel, Joshua Saidi, however, prayed the court for a date for commencement of trial, while remanding the accused persons in prison custody.
Justice Shuaibu after listening to the submissions of the counsel denied the oral bail application and ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison till June 6, 2018.He directed the defence team to file a formal bail application for hearing on the next adjourned date.
The arraignment of Yero and the others accused followed a petition alleging criminal diversion of one hundred and fifteen million dollars equivalent to twenty three billion, two hundred and ninety nine million, seven hundred and five thousand naira NNPC missing funds some years ago by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke.The missing sum was, later used to fund the alleged bribing of officials across the 36 states of the federation for the 2015 presidential election through a bank.
But, investigations into the case has so far revealed that the over twenty billion naira was allegedly wired to some top PDP and INEC officials across the country.The sum was said to have been received and acknowledged by Nuhu Somo Waya, Abubakar Gaya Haruna and Hamza Ishaq on behalf of the state for onward sharing to INEC staff spread across the 23 local council areas in Kaduna State.
A mild drama ensured at the court premises, when prison officials engaged in a confrontation with the supporters of Yero as they were to be conveyed to Kaduna prison.The supporters went on rampage throwing stones at the Black Maria and three escort vehicles meant to convey him.
Tears also rolled down the cheeks of families and supporters who were in the premises, some of the youths went on rampage, blocked the highway and damaged the traffic warden cubicle at the Nigerian Defence Academy junction directly opposite the court.
At exactly 2:01 p.m. that the convoy drove out of the court premises, four hours after the judge ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody. The black Maria which was earlier brought was a decoy as Yero alongside the three others were escorted into a plain white Toyota 14-seater bus, which drove out as part of the convoy.
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