The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has discharged former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, and son Mustapha Lamido of the 33 count charge on money laundering, preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The court while dismissing the alleged N1.35 billion fraud suit against Lamido held that the Federal High Court Abuja lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, had filed an appeal challenging the decision of the Federal High Court dismissing his no-case submission on the N1.35 billion fraud allegation.
Lamido, his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, Aminu Wada Abubakar, and their companies, Bamaina Holdings Ltd and Speeds International Ltd stood trial before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on a 37-count amended charge of money laundering to the tune of N1.35 billion fraud.
The anti-graft Commission has called over 16 witnesses before closing its case in the trial which commenced in 2015, as the defendants prayed for a no- case submission.
Amongst others, Count thirteen of the charge reads: “That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), on or about March 2nd, 2012, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your account in the name Bamaina Holdings (also referred to as Bamaina Holding Limited) domiciled at Unity Bank Plc. Kano, converted the aggregate sum of N61,919,000.00 being the value of four Sterling Bank Plc Cheques nos. 04981304, 04981305, 04981307, 04981308, three Diamond Bank Plc Cheque nos.
32909551,32909548, 32909550 and four Bank PHB Plc Cheques nos. 24444376, 24444374, 24444375 and 24444372 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which represented the proceeds of bribery and corruption to wit: using your position as a public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for companies in which you have interest from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which was awarded contracts by Jigawa State Government with the aim of concealing their illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under section 15(1) of the same Act”
Count Thirty-two reads: “That you, Alhaji Sule Lamido (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, and Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited on or about 3rd of April 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained in the account of Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited domiciled with Skye Bank Plc Kano the sum of N57,000,000.00 transferred from the account of Bamaina Holdings (also known and referred to as Bamaina Holdings Limited) at Unity Bank Plc Kano which fund you knew represented the proceeds of illegal act of Alhaji Sule Lamido who used his position as a public officer for gratification by obtaining purported contracts for Speeds International Limited, Gada Construction Company, and Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited from Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, a company which was awarded contracts by the Jigawa State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 17 of the same Act.”
Editor : Ena Agbanoma