The Federal High Court, Abuja, has just ruled, freeing former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and his then deputy, Usman Nafada, saying they have no case to answer.
Justice Suleiman Belgore ruled that the offences of misappropriation of public funds brought against the speaker and his deputy should be blamed on the clerk of the House and not the former House leaders.
He also said the action of the former speaker, who used the account of house to obtain personal bank loans, were morally wrong but not criminal.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Monday told the court that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Messrs Bankole, and Nafada, have a case to answer in the case of N38 billion fraud and criminal breach of trust instituted against them.
This submission was made in response to an application for a no-case submission filed by Bankole and Nafada’s counsels on the ground that the EFCC had no sufficient evidence to prosecute their clients.
The duo of Bankole and Nafada were arraigned on Monday, June 13, 2011, on a 17- count charge of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and theft.
The EFCC, in a counter application, filed through its counsel, Festus Keyamo, dismissed the former legislators’ application as yet another ploy to stall the trial. He further argued that the accused persons were not charged for “over-spending but misappropriation of funds.”
Mr. Keyamo pointed out that, as far as the law was concerned, there was a resolution to commit an illegal act in a meeting which the accused persons attended and chaired.
Trial judge, Justice Suleiman Belgore, thereafter adjourned ruling on arguments on the case for today.
More details later…