N712million Fraud: Court Dismisses Ex-Gov’s Case

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Sule Lamido, a former governor of Jigawa State, had filed a seven-point no-case submission challenging the credibility of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, which Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, dismissed on the grounds that Lamido had a case to answer.

She made this ruling on Monday, September 19, 2022.

Lamido is standing trial, alongside two of his sons: Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, his business associate, Aminu Wada Abubakar and four companies: Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminium Limited, Speeds International Limited and Batholomew Darlignton Agoha in a 37-count further amended charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N712,008,035.

Count one of the charges read:

“That you ALHAJI SULE LAMIDO (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), on or about 15th of December,2008 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your account in the name of Bamaina Holdings (also referred to as Bamaina Holding Limited) domiciled at Unity Bank Plc. Kano, converted the sum of N14,850,000.00 (Fourteen Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) being the value of Intercontinental Bank Plc.(now Access Bank Plc) cheque no. 00000025 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which represented the proceeds of your illegal act 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 its illicit origin and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act”

Count thirteen reads:

“That you ALHAJI SULE LAMIDO (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), on or about 2nd of March , 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 (Sixty One Million, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Thousand Naira) 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 (Fifty Seven Million Naira ) 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”

Justice Ojukwu upheld the submissions of EFCC’s counsel, Chile Okoroma, that Lamido had a case to answer and ordered him to open his defence at the next adjourned date of the matter.

She adjourned the matter to November 8 to 11, 2022 for the former governor to open his defence.

Lamido and his co-accused were first arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court, sitting in Kano, on July 9, 2015 for allegedly misappropriating funds belonging to Jigawa State. He had been re-arraigned severally before his further arraignment before Justice Ojukwu on February 14, 2022.

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