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EFCC seeks reassignment of cases from Justice Nyako


[file photo] EFCC

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Samuel Onnoghen, requesting that all of the body’s court cases being handled by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja be reassigned to another judge for fair judgment.

The anti-graft agency’s acting spokesperson, Tony Orilade, dropped the hint in a statement yesterday in Abuja.

According to him, the commission’s prosecuting counsel, Onjefu Obe, had alluded to an issue of bias on November 21 this year during the trial of the quartet of Umar Audu Bida, Truth Igogori, Ifeyinwa Nwankwesiri and Ogechukwu Obaji over their alleged complicity in a $1 million fraud.

The lawyer wants all cases before the judge reassigned because EFCC was also prosecuting her husband and former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, for alleged fraud.

The agency had in 2017 arraigned the defendants before Justice Nyako on a nine-count charge of conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretence the sum of $1 million.

In a related development, the EFCC has arraigned the Coordinating Director of Guara Water Management Authority, Ibrahim Babbaji, and four others before Justice Aliyu Yusuf of the FCT High Court 25 in Maitama, Abuja over an alleged N48 million fraud.

Its acting spokesperson, Orilade, in another statement said the firm’s Legal Adviser and Head of Administration, Mohammed Admin Sadiq and Oba Justine, as well as the Salary Officer, National Lottery Trust Fund, Chorio Wonkan Philips, and an estate surveyor and valuer with Babbaji, Segun Odetoyinbo, were equally arraigned.

According to him, their prosecution followed a petition that they allegedly connived with the owner of an apartment located at Utako District, Abuja to inflate the rent from N21 million to N48 million.

The accused pleaded not guilty and trial was thereafter fixed for January 22, 2019.

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