Court orders remand of former Benue governor over allegation N3.1b fraud
Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered the remand of Suswam and his ex-Commissioner of Finance, Omodachi Okolobia, while ruling on a bail application, moved by Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, counsel to the defendants.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Suswam and Okolobia were arraigned before the court on a nine-count charge, bordering on criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and money laundering.
The two respondents pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to them by the court registrar.
Prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacob, SAN, did not oppose the bail application of the defendants on the ground that they had been granted administrative bail by the EFCC and had not jumped bail.
Justice Mohammed held: “The respondents are granted bail in the sum of N100 million each and a surety each in like sum.
“The surety must be a civil servant of not less than the cadre of Director in the federal, state or local government service.
“In the alternative, the surety must have a national honour and must swear to an affidavit of means.
“The defendants shall submit their international passport to the registrar of the court.
“Failure to meet these requirements, the defendants shall be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.’’
Suswam and Okolobia were charged by the EFCC for alleged diversion of a total sum of N3.1 billion, realised from the sale of shares owned by Benue State Government and Benue Investments and Property Ltd.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the case till Dec. 8 for trial.