A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, dismissed a ‘no-case-submission’ application filed by former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and his co-defendants against the N29 billion fraud case instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The co-defendants in the suit are Nyako’s son, Abdulaziz Nyako, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd, Pagado Fortunes Ltd, Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd; Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
Recall that lawyers to respective parties had on July 16 made oral reply and arguments to support or oppose the no case submission.
Recall that Nyako’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi SAN, had argued that the evidence and witnesses brought by the EFCC did not establish that his client committed fraud while serving as governor of the state.
“Infact, for a charge relating to money laundering to succeed it must be proved that the money laundered is subject of illegal act.
“There is no such evidence in the instant case,” Agabi had said.
But the prosecution’s lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told the trial judge Okong Abang, that the defendants have a case to answer because even those who worked with the former governor came to the court and to the anti-graft agency to give confessional statements.
“In this case, the persons that committed the predicate and money laundering offense are all before my lord and even if the law is that the predicate offense must be proved, it has been clearly proved before this court by the evidence of the prosecution and the confessional statement of the defendant.
“My lord, refuse the no case submission and order the defendants to enter their defense,” Atolagbe had said.
On Monday, Abang held that the evidence of the prosecutor was glaring.
“My lords, I have calmly, carefully considered thoroughly in respect of the charges.
“I have considered the evidence in chief, cross examination, documentary evidence and the extrajudicial statement of the first defendant.
“In this ruling, it is my view that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the defendant.
“Therefore, the no case submission filed by the defendants lack merit and is accordingly dismissed.
“The matter is hereby adjourned to 4,5,6,8 October for defendants to enter their defense,” he said.