The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Kaduna office, today May 31, 2018, arraigned the former Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero; former Minister of State, Nuhu Somo Wya; former People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Kaduna State Chairman, Abubakar Haruna Gaya and the former Secretary to the State Government, Hamza Ishaq before Justice S.M Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Kaduna, on a four Count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and criminal diversion of funds, to the tune of N7000,000,000 (Seven Hundred Million Naira) only. .
They all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Joshua Saidi, the prosecution counsel then prayed the Court for a date for commencement of trial, while remanding the defendants in prison custody. Lead defense counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) made application for bail orally but Justice Shuaibu refused.
The Court ruled that formal applications for bail of the accused must be filed. He, therefore, adjourned the matter to the 6th of June, 2018 for the hearing of bail application. He also ruled that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
Their arraignment followed a petition alleging criminal diversion of One Hundred and Fifteen Million Dollars equivalent to Twenty Three Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety-Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Five Thousand Naira (N 23, 299,705,000.00) NNPC missing funds some years ago by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke. Investigations revealed that the missing sum was used to fund the bribing of officials across the 36 state of the Federation for the 2015 presidential election through Fidelity Bank.
Further investigations also revealed that over Twenty Billion Naira was wired to some top PDP and INEC officials across the country which was specifically disbursed through various branches of the Fidelity Bank with Kaduna State benefitting over N800 million (Eight Hundred Million Naira) only in two installments of N700,000,000 and N190,000,000.