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N9.7bn alleged fraud: Nigerian govt tenders fresh evidence against Suswam

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Jaafar Jaafarhttps://dailynigerian.com/
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.
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The Federal Government, on Thursday, tendered additional documents in the 32-count money laundering charge preferred against the former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam and two others before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Mr Suswam and his co-defendants are accused of diverting the sum of N9.7 billion meant for police reform programme, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P,

The defendants were alleged to have conspired and transferred the sum of N9,791,602,453.8 from the Benue State Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P account with Zenith and the GT Banks into illegal accounts with the aim of concealing the money.

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The money was allegedly diverted by the defendants between 2012 and 2015 while Mr Suswam was the governor of the state.

Mr Suswam and his co-defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, the Federal Government, through its counsel, Aminu Akilu tendered documentary evidence, showing how the sum of N450 million was withdrawn from the state treasury in the guise that it was for the augmentation of ten months running cost for the government house.

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The documents which were tendered through the second prosecution witness, Mr. Ochoga Peter Esuh, who was a Cashier at the Benue State Government House certified true copies of memo to the executive governor (Suswam), payment receipts, payment vouchers of the N450 million and a letter to the Commissioner of finance, under Suswam’s administration, Omadachi Oklobia in respect of the money.

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The two statements of the witness to the police were also tendered as exhibits before the court, despite the objection by the prosecution counsel.

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The trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole adjourned till May 22, 2018, for the cross-examination of the witness.

Defendants in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/48/2017, are a former Commissioner of Benue State under Suswam’s administration, Mr Omadachi Oklobia, and the then Accountant, Benue State Government House Administration, Mrs Janet Aluga.

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