Suswam denies N3.1 billion fraud charge
Suswam and Okolobia allegedly diverted the state government to their own in breach of trust.
But when the charge was read to them, the two accuse persons pleaded not guilty.
Since the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs did not oppose their bail application, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed admitted both the accused persons to bail on N100 million with one surety of Grade Level 12 on the employment of Federal, State or Local Government or person with National Award each in like sum.
Justice Mohammed also ordered the accused to deposit the international passports with the deputy registrar of the court as part of the bail terms.
However, both accuse persons are to be remanded in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission if they failed to meet the terms of the bail before the closing hour.
Part of the charges read thus:” that you Gabriel Suswam and Omodachi Okolobia while being Benue State Governor and Finance Commissioner between August 8 and October 30 2014 in Abuja took possession of the sum of $15.8million from Abubakar Umar of Fanffash Resources Worldwide a Bureau de change dealer, which sum you knew to be proceeds of unlawful activity to wit theft of the sum of N3.1 billion which form part of the N9.4b realised from the sale of shares own by Benue State government and Benue investment and Property Company, an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
That you Gabriel Suswam and Omodachi Okolobia while being Benue State Governor and Finance Commissioner between August 8 and October 30, 2014 in Abuja entrusted with Dominion over N3.1billion being part of the sum of N9.4b realised from the sale of shares owned by the Benue State Government and Benue Investment and Property Company did conspire among yourself to commit criminal breach of trust by diverting the sum into the account of Fanffash Resources Worldwide, a Bureau De Change company to enable you receive the dollar equivalent that you here by committed an offence contrary to Section 96 of the panel Code Act Cap 532 Volume 4 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2007 and punishable under Section 97 of same act.