Why EFCC Shelved Danjuma Goje’s ‘N25bn Corruption Case’ After 8yrs
Senator-elect, Mr Danjuma Goje, is no longer on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged misappropriation of N25 billion while in office as Gombe state governor.
The EFFC announced its withdrawal from Goje’s case on Friday after about eight years of prosecuting the former governor.
The anti-corruption agency said it was withdrawing from the former governor’s trial in order to allow the Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) take over the case “for continuation with the prosecution”.
Meanwhile, the development is coming on the heels of Goje’s withdrawal from the 9th Senate Presidency race and his consequent endorsement of the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ahmad Lawan, for the office.
The former Gombe shelved the ambition after a meeting involving President Muhammadu Buhari, Lawan and himself at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.
The EFCC’s withdrawal from Goje’s case came suddenly considering that he had been on the radar of the anti-corruption agency for 8 years.
According to a report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), when Mr Goje’s corruption trial came up for an emergency hearing before Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court II in Jos, the EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, told the court the agency was withdrawing from the case and handing it over to the office of the attorney-general for continuation.
“My Lord, this case was earlier adjourned for June 20 for the continuation of hearing, but then we are here today on the latest development on the matter.
“We as EFCC counsels are withdrawing from the matter and handing it over to the office of the attorney-general for continuation with the prosecution.
“As you can see in court today is a state counsel from the AGF’s office to formally take over this case from us,” EFCC counsel was quoted to have said.
Reacting to this, Mr Goje’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, was quoted as saying: “My Lord, we do not object to the anti-graft agency’s withdrawal and handing over the prosecution to the AG’s office”.
Goje, a two-time governor of Gombe state between May 2003 – May 2011 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had defected to the APC after leaving office.
He said his decision to withdraw from the Senate Presidency race and endorse Mr Lawan was out of respect for the party and President Buhari.