Saturday, May 8, 2021

Alleged N700m fraud: Dakingari still missing in court


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
tiamin rice

The arraignment of the former governor of Kebbi State, Usman Saidu Dakingari, before honourable Justice Simone Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Kebbi was again stalled by the first defendant due to his alleged ill-health.

Mr Dakingari was supposed to be arraigned on the 25th June, 2018 alongside three others, Sunday Dogonyaro, Abdullahi Yelwa and Garba Rabiu Kamba by the EFCC before the Federal High Court on a fifteen count charge of Conspiracy and Money Laundering to the tune of N700,000,000 only. 

The said money was said to have been part of the $115,000,000 allegedly distributed by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources in a bid to influence the outcome of the 2015 General Election. 

On the last adjourned date, the court threatened to invoke section 394 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Dakingari and Dogonyaro if they failed to appear before the court and take their plea today.

However, when the case was mentioned today, Mr Dogonyaro was present in court while Dakingari was still absent. His counsel however informed the court that he filed an affidavit about the health condition of the 1st defendant which is before the court.

Prosecution counsel, Jonson Ojogbane told the court that he was just served with the affidavit and told the court that the said affidavit is not an application but rather a mere information about the illness of the first defendant. 

He therefore urged the court not to consider the affidavit and instead invoke section 394 of ACJA as that was the ruling of the court at the last adjourned date. 

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Justice Amobeda after listening to the submissions of the learned counsels for both parties granted the prayers of the counsel to the first defendant and gave his client last adjournment to appear before the court and take his plea. 

On the issue of the custody of the second defendant, the court remanded him in the custody of his counsel who shall write an undertaking that he will bring him on the next adjourned date. The second defendant was also asked to deposit his international passport to the registrar of the court. 

The plea of the 3rd defendant whose health condition have been verified by the commission, was adjourned sine-die as it was confirmed that he I is not in a condition to stand trial.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to 24th of September, 2018 for the arraignment of the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants.

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