EFCC re-arraigns Sule Lamido, sons for alleged N1.4bn fraud
Former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and two of his sons, Aminu Lamido and Mustapha Lamido, have been re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 43 count charge bordering on abuse of office and money laundering.
Also re-arraigned on Wednesday before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, alongside Lamido are Aminu Wada Abubakar, Bamaina Holdings Ltd and Speeds International Ltd for allegedly defrauding the state to the tune of N1.35 billion.
It would be recalled that the suspects were originally arraigned before Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Babatunde Quadri before its eventual transfer to Justice Ojukwu by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati.
The EFCC is accusing Lamido of abusing his position as governor between 2007 and 2015 by awarding contracts to companies where he had interest, using his two sons as fronts.
He was also accused of receiving kickbacks from contractors in the state who paid money to accounts managed by his sons.
Some of the charges reads: ”That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido, while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria, on or about 15th of December, 2008 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court in your account in the name of Bamaina Holdings (also referred to as Bamaina Holding Limited) domiciled at Unity Bank Plc, Kano, converted the sum of N14,850,000.00 (Fourteen Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) being the value of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc) cheque no;00000025 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Limited which represented the proceeds of your illegal act to wit: using your position as a public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for company in which you have interest from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which was awarded contracts by Jigawa Sate Government with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.
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“That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido, while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria, Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, and Speeds International Limited on or before 26th March, 2010 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court retained in the account of Speeds Intl Ltd domiciled at Skye Bank Plc, Dutse the sum of N26,000,000.00 (Twenty Six Million) being the value of Skye Bank Plc cheque no.10000659 which funds you knew represented the proceeds of illegal act of Alhaji Sule Lamido who used his position as public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for the said Speeds Intl Ltd, (a company in which he is a shareholder and director) from A.G Ferrero & Co Ltd which was awarded contracts by Jigawa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 16(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act”.
The former governor and other defendants pleaded not guilty to the counts.
With the not guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC, Chile Okoroma, asked the court to fix a date for trial.
In his response, counsel to the defendants, Joe Agi, informed the court of a pending application for the bail of the defendants, adding that the defendants were currently on bail for the same offence before another court.
He also informed the court that the defendants had also been granted administrative bail by the EFCC, and did not violate any of its terms.
The case was adjourned to November 22 for trial.
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