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Court remands ex-Adamawa gov, Fintiri in Kuje prison

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, ordered Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, the former governor of Adamawa State to be remanded in Kuje prisons pending the determination of his bail application.

Fintiri was arraigned before the court on five count charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was accused of defrauding the Adamawa state government of N970 million and another $4, 830 dollars while he was in office as a governor for just three months following the impeachment of Murtala Nyako.

The defendant, however, denied all the charges.

His counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) application for bail was argued.

Magaji urged the judge to admit the defendant to bail as the alleged offences were bailable offences.

According to the counsel, section 35 subsection 6 of the 1999 Constitution presumes that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

He also relied on sections 158 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, in urging the court to admit the defendant to bail.

“We rely on these sections in seeking the order of the court to admit the defendant to bail pending the determination of the case” he said.

He observed that bail is at the discretion of the court who must use it judiciously, adding that the defendant has been on administrative bail granted to him by EFCC who are in custody of his travelling documents.

Magaji assured the court that Fintiri would not jump bail and that he would always be available for trial.

He, therefore, urged the court to admit his client to bail.

In his response, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Peters Aso opposed the application and referred the court to a document filed by the defence about his health.

He said it appeared that Fintiri had lied on oath since the date which he said the doctor examined him was different from the date he said the doctor told him of his ailment.

The prosecuting counsel said that although he was not a medical personnel, he believed that he was examined before he was told of his health.

He prayed the court to refuse the bail application on the grounds that the defendant would not come for trial if granted bail.

Trail judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed reserved ruling on the bail application for Friday July 1 (Today).

Part of the charges marked FHC/ABJ/CR /131/2016 and signed by Sylvanus Tahir of the legal and prosecution department of the EFCC reads:

“That you, Ahmadu Umaru (Alias Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri) and Mayin Construction and Properties Ltd on or about October 2, 2014, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did indirectly disguise the origin of the sum of N80,000.000.00 only transferred from an account number 0313000301 domiciled at Eco Bank Plc operated by Timeplex Nigeria into account number 5742019591 domiciled at Eco Bank Plc operated by Mayim Construction and properties Ltd, which sum you know is proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: bribery and corruption and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2), (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended in 2012, and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act.

That you, Ahmadu Umaru (Alias Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri) and Mayin Construction and Properties Ltd on or about October 2, 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did indirectly disguise the origin of the sum of N120,000.000.00 only transfered from an account number 0313000301 domiciled at Eco Bank Plc operated by Timeplex Nigeria into account number 5742019591 domiciled at Eco Bank Plc operated by Mayim Construction and properties Ltd which sum you know is proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: bribery and corruption and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2), (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act.

That you, Ahmadu Umaru (Alias Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri) sometimes in July 2015, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did without using Financial Institution make cash payment of N220,000.000.00 only to Hashim Dikko for the purchase of plot number 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.

That you, Ahmadu Umaru (Alias Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri) and Mayim Construction and properties Ltd on or about the 9th October, 2014, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did indirectly disguise the origin of the aggregate sum of N550, 000.000.00 through a term loan of twelve months purportedly granted to you by ECO Bank Plc for the acquisition of a tea plantation farm from Nigeria Agricultural bank as acting Governor of Adamawa State from sum which you know form part of proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: bribery and corruption and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2), (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act.

That you, Ahmadu Umaru (Alias Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri) and Mayim Construction and properties Ltd between the 3rd of June, 2014 and August, 2015 in Abuja,within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did retain in your US Dollars account number 5742019601 domicile at Eco bank plc the aggregate sum of $4,830.000.00 550, 000.000.00 which you know form part of proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: bribery and corruption and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2), (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act.

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