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High profile corruption: Ex-Governor Yuguda, Senator Akpan, ors in EFCC’s dragnet

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In our review of high-profile corruption trials today, the former Governor of Zamfara State and former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, was spotted in a N450 million and N28 billion money laundering saga alongside Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha.

Also, Senator Albert Akpan Bassey, a Commissioner for Finance during the tenure of former Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, was accused by the defunct Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Properties, of acquiring numerous properties scattered within and outside Nigeria through dubious means while serving as commissioner.

Read on:

Bashir Yuguda – N450 million and N28 billion money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 28, 2018 arraigned the former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, alongside three others before Justice Fatima Murtala of the Federal High Court sitting in Zamfara on charges of conspiracy and money laundering.

Others charged alongside the former governor of Zamfara State include Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha.

The defendants allegedly conspired and received a cash payment of N450,000,000 part of the $115,000,000 that was allegedly distributed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Allison-Madueke, for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the 2015 general election.

Senator Albert Akpan Bassey in non declaration of assets

Senator Bassey Albert Akpan
Senator Bassey Albert Akpan

Bassey Akpan served as Commissioner for Finance between August 7, 2007 and 2014 during the tenure of Godswill Akpabio as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

The Presidency in a letter dated March 28, 2018 and signed by the Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties, Okoi Obono-Obla, requested the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) to ban Akpan from entering UK and any of its territories.

The panel claimed Akpan acquired numerous properties scattered within and outside Nigeria through dubious means while serving as commissioner for finance.

In the letter addressed to the UK Home Office Secretary, Hon. Amber Rudd, the presidency also called on the UK government to freeze all the bank accounts and assets associated with the senator.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government in a suit pending before Justice Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, is seeking an interim order of forfeiture of undeclared assets linked to the senator.

The accused through his lawyer filed a suit challenging the competency of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property to investigate him on the charges.

In response, Justice J.T Tsoho, ruled that the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property was competent to initiate criminal prosecution against Senator Albert Akpan Bassey or anybody it has investigated.

The court further held that the prosecutor of the panel, Dr. Celsus Ukpong, was competent to sign or initiate criminal prosecution and didn’t require the consent of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to do so.

The Principal State Counsel at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Labaran Magaji, who signed the charges, alleged Nwaoboshi’s action was contrary to section 15(1) and (2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and punishable under section 23(2) of the same Act.

With the ruling, the coast was cleared for Senator Akpan to face the charges against him.

Read also:

High profile corruption: Stella Oduah, Kenny Martins nabbed in multi-billion Naira fraud

[This Publication is based on a compendium by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) covering corruption cases as at 22nd of November, 2019.

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