Alleged N450M Fraud: Court Dismisses Case Against Taraba APC Governorship Candidate, Others

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BY AMEH IDUJAGI, JALINGO – A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo on Wednesday, dismissed the case against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Taraba state, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi and two others.

The court also gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 72 hours ultimatum to refund the sum of N228 million collected by the commission to defendants.

The EFCC had filed the case against Danladi, former Minister of Labour and Productivity Senator Joel Ikenya and former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Mark Useni for allegedly receiving N450 million from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organization without following due financial process. 

In his ruling, Justice Stephen Pam said the case by the EFCC lacks merit and does not hold water and therefore directed the EFCC to urgently refund the said amount which was earlier remitted to the commission by the defendants.

The 100 pages judgment which lasted several hours to deliver, also admonished the EFCC to respect the Court ruling by allowing the rule of law to prevail and desist from harassing or intimidating the defendants who have been vindicated by the court. 

Justice Pam noted that the EFCC could not substantiate its case against the defendants and advised the anti-graft agency to desist from further infringing on the rights of innocent citizens. 

Reacting to the ruling, Senator Ikenya applauded the court for allowing the rule of law to see the light of the day and called on the people to continue to give the much needed respect to the judiciary which he described as the last hope of the common man. 

Speaking in same vein, former speaker of the Taraba state House of Assembly, Hon Mark Useni paid a glowing tributes to the judiciary whom he believed has done justice to the case, stressing the need for the people to continue to rely on the judiciary for justice. 

Counsel to the defendants, Barrister Ibrahim Effiong said the ruling is an indication that the rule of law has come to bear, saying that; “I am happy that the rule of law has come to bear. The entire charge was an abuse of court process and only good for dismissal and that is what just happened. I pray that the EFCC will respect the rule of law and allow the judgment to prevail.  There was no point taking my client to court in the first place.” Effiong submitted.

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