- Former Benue governor, Gabriel Suswam, would be re-arraigned before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on November 20
- The former governor is being arraigned on a 32-count charge brought against him by the federal government
- Suswam, his former commissioner for finance and then accountant of the State House were admitted to bail in the sum of N250 million each and one surety each in like sum
The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed November 20 for the re-arraignment of former Benue governor, Gabriel Suswam, on a 32-count charge brought against him by the federal government.
Justice I.E. Ekwo fixed the date on Wednesday, September 26, when the matter was brought before him for the first time.
When the matter was called, the prosecuting counsel, Aminu Alilu, told the judge that the matter was starting de novo (afresh), following the elevation to the Court of Appeal of the judge who was handling it.
By agreement of counsel, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until November 20 and 21.
It will be recalled that Suswam was arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawale, alongside his former commissioner for finance, Omadachi Oklobia, and then accountant of the State House, Janet Aluga.
They were arraigned for allegedly diverting N9.7 billion, part of which was meant for Police Reform Programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
The trio allegedly cornered the said funds between 2012 and 2015, while Suswam was governor of the state.
They were also accused of conspiracy, conversion of property derived directly from corruption; collaboration to conceal property derived from corruption; obtaining by false pretence and accepting cash payments, exceeding the amount authorised by law.
The offences are said to be contrary to, and punishable under various provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, and the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act
Kolawale admitted the trio to bail in the sum of N250 million each and one surety each in like sum.
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Legit.ng previously reported that a report revealed that the arrest and detention of former Benue governor, Gabriel Suswam, was caused by a call he received from a notorious militia in the state.
According to the report, the militia, who had since been declared wanted by security agencies for wanton killings in Benue and neighbouring states, unconsciously plunged the former governor into trouble by placing a call to him; and the two-term governor picked without suspecting that his line had been under surveillance.
The former governor had reportedly been under the radar of the DSS since some guns and exotic vehicles were retrieved and taken away from a palatial property in Maitama District said to belong to him last year.
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