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EFCC: Ex-Governor Re-arraigned Over Alleged Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has re-arraigned a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan.

Suswam was arraigned alongside his ex-commissioner of finance in the state, Omadachi Okolobia.

The duo were arraigned on Monday, November 2, before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The ex-governor and his commissioner were re-arraigned on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Suswam, who currently represents Benue North-East Senatorial District, is the first defendant while Okolobia is the second defendant in the suit.

Recall that they were initially arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the high court in 2015 on a nine-count before the case was transferred to Justice Okon Abang of the same jurisdiction.

The EFCC accused the duo of diverting the sum of N3.1 billion money said to be part of the proceeds of the sale of some shares of Benue in a company. At the resumed hearing on Monday, November 2, EFCC’s counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told Mohammed that the agency had an amended charge dated and filed on October 15.

He said: “I humbly apply under sections 216 and 218 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 for this honourable court to accept the amended charge and direct that the defendants take their plea on the charge subject to the convenience of the court.”

The counsel to the first and the second defendants, Adedayo Adedeji and Audu Aloga respectively, did not oppose the application. The judge then accepted the amended charge and ordered it to be read to the defendants.

Okolobia was alleged to have accepted cash payments in the sum of N128 million, N100 million, N150 million, and N200 million at different occasions from one Gera James, a non-financial institution, which were said to have exceeded the threshold authorised by law and contrary to the Money Laundromat Act.

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