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Alleged graft: EFCC arraigns Kwara Ex-Gov. Ahmed on  12–count charge.

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The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday arraigned the former governor of Kwara state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed before a federal high court , sitting in Ilorin on a 12 count charges boarding on money laundering.

 

The EFCC is investigating the former governor and his commissioner for finance, Mr  Demola Banu (2nd defendant) over offences boarding on money laundering committed during  his tenure between 2015- 2019.

 

The Ilorin Zonal command of the anti- graft agency had on Monday February 19,  invited the former governor  in continuation of it ongoing investigation where he was detained and brought to court on Friday morning.

 

The 2nd defendant was howerver absent from court and was neither represented  by his counsel.

 

Counsel to EFCC Rotimi Jacobs, had told the court that the second defendant “jumped  administrative bail” asking the court to issue a summon , warrant of arrest or both on the defendants.

 

He said the 2nd defendant on getting wind of the arrest of the Ist defedndat jumped the administrative bail earlier granted him and travelled to the United Kingdom.

 

“The EFCC men visited his house severally but could not be found”, he said.

 

Jacobs  said the surety to the second defendant,  had also “cut off his line” and could no longer be reached.

 

On the Ist defendant, the EFCC  asked the court to accept the 12 count charges preffered  against him and allowed such be read to him to take his plea.

 

The charges reads as follows:

 

“That you, Abdulfatah Ahmed  (while being the Governor of Kwara State) between 2015 and 2019 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court used an aggregate sum of N1,610,730,500.00 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Ten Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the security and running cost of the Government of Kwara State to charter private jets  through Travel Messengers Limited on different occasions for your local travels and which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: Criminal Breach of Trust or Theft and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 2

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) and ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) sometime in 2019, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N400,000,000.00 (Four Hundred Million Naira) out of the N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) short-term loan obtained by the Kwara State Government from Ecobank Nigeria Limited for the purpose of completing some then ongoing projects and which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceed of your unlawful Act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/theft and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.

 

“COUNT 3

 

That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) and ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State), between January and December 2018 in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired between yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: Conversion of the sum of N411,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Eleven Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known was a proceed of an unlawful act, to wit; theft/fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 4

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) and ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 31st January, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N70,000,000.00 (Seventy Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 5

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 28th February, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N32,000,000.00 (Thirty-Two Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 6

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 4th April, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N32,000,000.00 (Thirty-Two Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 7

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 16th April, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 8

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 3rd May, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N27,000,000.00 (Twenty-Seven Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 9

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 30th July, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 10

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 2nd August, 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 11

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED (while being the Governor of Kwara State) AND ADEMOLA BANU (while being the Commissioner of Finance of Kwara State) on or about 8th November 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly converted the sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) property of Kwara State Government, meant for the provision of security in Kwara State, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: theft or fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

 

COUNT 12

 

“That you, ABDULFATAH AHMED on 19th February, 2024 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court failed to make a declaration in the Assets Declaration Form supplied to you by the officers of the EFCC after your arrest and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 27(3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act No. 1 of 2004 and punishable under section 27(3) of the same Act.

 

The 1st defendant however pleaded not guilty  to all the 12 charges levelled agaisnt him when red to him at the court.

 

Counsel to the 1st defendant, Kehinde Eleja, moved an oral application asking the court to grant the former governor bail .

 

His oral applications was however objected to by the EFCC counsel on the grounds that such applications should have been made formal and left at the discretion of the court.

 

He also argued that the 1st defendant being a former “governor might interfere with  investigation because according to him,  “many of the witnesses that would be called to testify against him worked under him as subordinates”.

 

Jacobs also argued that the Ist defendant like the second defendant (Banu) now at large could “evade his trial” and also jeopardise investigation ,

 

Replying to the argument of the EFCC counsel, Eleja argued that “denying the Ist defendant bail will be tantamount to subjecting him to pre- trial punishments adding that he is presumed innocent until proven otherwise by the court.

 

He also asked the court to consider the fact that the former governor honoured EFCC invitation on 19 February in continuation of ongoing investigation by the anti-  graft agency where he had been held since Monday .

 

He said contrary to the submission of the EFCC, counsel investigation into the matter had been concluded following which the 1st defendant was arraigned in court on Friday.

 

In his ruling  Justice, Evelen Ayandike , granted the  application of the EFCC counsel and ordered the arrest of the second defendant.

 

On the submission for bail and counter submissions made by the prosecution and the defendants counsel, the judged granted bail to the 1st defendant on the following conditions.

 

“The defendant was granted bail in the sum of N50million and 2 sureties in like sum.

 

“The sureties must submit three passport photographs each including the defendants.

 

“One of the sureties must be owners of landed property within Ilorin .

 

“The original title documents the land must be submitted to the court registry.

 

“Both sureties must swear to an affidavit before the court and must show evidence of payment of electricity bills in the last three months  to show that they are residents in Ilorin.

 

“The N50 million must be paid into the court litigation account in liquidity .

 

“The 1st defendant must deposit his international passport with the court , if the passport is in the EFCC custody, the EFCC should surrender it to the court.

 

“If the 1st defendant has reason to travel abroad, he shall apply formally to the court . If if he is travelling for a medical trip, he must state the reasons for traveling and why  his medical condition cannot be treated in the country.

 

“The defendants shall remain in EFCC custody pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions.

 

The case was adjourned to April 29 and 30th for trial .

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