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N3.1bn fraud: Suswam’s health stalls trial

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The trial of former Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, over alleged financial misappropriation before the Federal High Court, Abuja, was on Tuesday stalled on the ground of his ill health.

Suswam and his former Commissioner for Finance, Omadachi Oklobia, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCCon a nine- count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of N3.1 billion.

They were alleged to have diverted proceeds of the sale of shares owned by Benue Government and Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.

The offence, the EFCC said was punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

At the resumed trial before Justice Ahmed Mohammed, counsel to Suswam, Mr Ahmed Raj.i SAN, informed the court that his client was currently on admission in an Abuja hospital.

According to Raji, following the detention of his client by the Department of State Services and his release by the same authority, he took ill and is now on admission.

Raji showed a copy of the medical report from the hospital, where Suswam was admitted, to the prosecuting counsel, Mr A.O. Atolagbe and the court.

He prayed the court for an adjournment to allow his client get the required medical treatment to enable him to attend to his trial.

The prosecutor raised no objection to the application for an adjournment.

“I was informed this morning about the ill health of the first defendant, but I am yet to see the copy of his medical report. I can, however, now confirm that I have seen the medical report,” he said.

The judge adjourned the matter until June 21 and June 22.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Suswam’s case was on March 28, stalled because of his detention by the DSS.

His counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu SAN, had told the court that he was absent in court on that day on account of his detention.

NAN

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