EFCC appeals acquittal of ex-minister, four others for alleged money laundering
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed the acquittal of a former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama and four others by the Federal High Court in Yobe State.
Justice Isah H. Dashen had on February 18 discharged and acquitted Bulama, who was also the coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation for the 2015 general election and other four defendants for lack of diligent prosecution by the commission.
The four persons were Mohammed Kadai, a former commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Abba Gana Tata; Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks.
The five men were arraigned by the EFCC on a seven-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N450 million.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission said it has appealed the acquittal of the ex-minister and the other persons at the Appeal Court in Abuja.
He said investigations by the EFCC operatives showed that Bulama and his co-defendants partook in the disbursement of huge sums of money in the build-up to the 2015 general election without going through a financial institution.
In a notice of appeal filed by its counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, the commission argued that lower court judge erred in law in the judgment.
It described the lower court’s ruling as a miscarriage of justice because of the judge’s failure to properly evaluate the pieces of evidence brought against the defendants in court.
The EFCC, therefore, urged the Appeal Court to overrule the lower court’s acquittal of the defendants.
“My lords, we submit that the commission has placed sufficient evidence and therefore urge the justices of the Appeal Court to overrule the lower court by dismissing the ‘no case submission’ as groundless, baseless and a deliberate attempt to delay the trial,” Ahmed said.