THE Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday remanded former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and his son, Abdulazis in prison custody sequel to their arraignment on charges of money laundering preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Similarly, former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, was also arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the same division of the Federal High Court on a – three counts of money ($2.29m) laundering.
However, the duo will tomorrow seek that they be admitted to bail as an application to that effect filed by their counsel, Chief Kanu Godwin Agabi (SAN) will be heard by the court.
Meanwhile, former Kano State Governor Sule Lamido and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, who were arrested by the EFCC on Tuesday will be arraigned at the Federal High Court in Kano tomorrow.
Nyako and his son, who are to be tried on 37 counts of money laundering, have pleaded not guilty.
According to the charge sheet, father and son are accused of converting huge sums of money, including N240 million – state funds – to develop an estate, Hill View Estate in Mpape, Abuja, between October 2011 and June 2012 among others.
The offences, if proven, are punishable under Section 15 subsection 1A of the money laundering prohibition Act, 2011.
After taking the plea of the accused persons, counsel to the EFCC made to open its case by calling one of its witnesses to the witness stand, but was stopped by the objection of Agabi who sought to study the charge which had just been served on him before trial could begin.
Agabi prayed the court to grant his clients bail on grounds that the offences were ordinarily bailable and all the prisons across Nigeria are congested.
In the alternative, he prayed the court to leave his clients in the custody of the EFCC which he said appears to be better should the court not accede to the bail request immediately.
But EFCC opposed the idea of taking custody of the accused further as he submitted that EFCC does not have accommodation.
He said the accused – all of them – were kept in an office from Tuesday till Wednesday when they were brought before the court.
In his ruling, the Judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu ordered that they be remanded in prison custody.
Specifically, the former governor’s son is to answer questions on how over N15 billion belonging to Adamawa State was allegedly laundered into the accounts of five companies said to be owned by him.
Lamido and his two sons were reported to have been arrested by the EFCC in Abuja and were later on Tuesday, transferred to Kano for commencement of prosecution. They are being arraigned for alleged money laundering offences.
The EFCC has been on their trail for allegedly tracing some billions of Naira belonging to Jigawa State to some companies run by the ex-governor and his two sons.