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N40b fraud: FG re-arraigns ex-Gov Nyako, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, rearraigned the former governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako (Rtd), his son Abdulaziz Nyako and seven others before a Federal High Court, Abuja over a N40billion fraud they allegedly committed while Nyako was in office.

Nyako, Abdulaziz, Zulkifikk Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagoda Ventures Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited were arraigned on a 37 count charge before Justice Okon Abang.

The defendants, who were first arraigned last year on same charges before Justice Evoh Chukwu before his demise, pleaded not guilty to all the count charges.

Following their plea, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, ordered that the defendants should continue to enjoy the conditions of the earlier bail granted by late Justice Chukwu.
He refused the request of the  prosecutor that the defendant’s sureties should file a fresh affidavit to re affirm  their surety before Justice Abang since the matter is starting afresh.

The presiding judge said the court cannot  grant the request because the prosecutor had failed to oppose the oral application by the defendants’ counsel to allow them maintain earlier bail.

Besides, Justice Abang ruled that the court cannot vary the condition of the  bail earlier granted to the defendants.

The court adjourned the matter to November 17 and 22, 2016 for trial.

Part of the charges read thus: That you Murtala Nyako, Abdulaziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited and Tower Assets Management Limited on or about 9th March 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did convert the sum of N35,000,000( thirty five million naira) to develop hill view estate Mpape Abuja which sun was derived from the theft of the fund of Adamawa State government, routed through Amdak Investment Limited, Towers assets management limited and Blue Opal Limited accounts respectively with the aim concealing the illicit origin of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(1)(a)of the money laundering (prohibition) Act,2011.

Count 21:  That  you Murtala, Abdulaziz Nyako,Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited Pagoda Fortunes Limited and Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust energy limited between January and Dec 2012 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did collaborate in disguising the genuine origin of an aggregate sum of N10,693,800,000which sums were derived from the theft of Adamawa State government funds from cheques issued on the name of special Services Department / Mary P and illegally placed under the control of Ma’aji Iro, the then regional manager of Zenith Bank PLC, North-East Nigeria for private use as against the official use with the aim of concealing the illicit origin  of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(1)(b)of the money laundering (prohibition) Act,2011.

Count 22: That you Murtala, Abdulaziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited and Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy limited between January and Dec 2012 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did collaborate in disguising the genuine origin of an aggregate sum of N6.4 billion which sum you reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act to wit; money’s derived from the theft of Adamawa State government funds from cheque issued in the name of special Services Department / Mary P and illegally placed under the control of Ma’aji Iro, the then regional manager of Zenith Bank PLC, North-East Nigeria for private use as against the official use with the aim of concealing the illicit origin  of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(2)(a)and(6) of the money laundering (prohibition) Act,2012, and punishable under Section 15 (3)of the same act.

Count 30: That you Murtala, Abdulaziz Nyako, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Limited Pagoda Fortunes Limited and Tower Assets Management Limited on about 9 February 2012, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did collaborate in disguising the genuine origin of an aggregate sum of N235,000,000 ( Two hundred and thirty five million naira) being cash lodgment made into the accounts of Shoreditch farms and extension limited with Zenith Bank PLC which sums were derived from theft of funds belonging to Adamawa State government purporting same to be security funds and illegally placed under the control Ma’aji Iro, the then regional manager of Zenith Bank PLC, North-East Nigeria for private use as against the official use with the aim of concealing the illicit origin  of the said sum and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(1)(b) of the money laundering (prohibition) Act,2011, and punishable under Section 15 (3)of the same act.

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