The Nation (Nigeria)
Alleged N29b fraud: Court orders ex-adamawa Governor Nyako, son, others to enter defence
•Their no-case submission rejected
AFEDERAL High Court in Abuja has rejected a "no case" submission by former Adamawa State governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako (retd.), his son, Abdulaziz, and others being tried for their alleged complicity in the diversion of about N29 billion public funds.
Nyako, Abdulaziz, Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagado Fortunes Limited, Blue Opal Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited are being tried on a 37-count money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against them.
In a ruling yesterday, Justice Okon Abang held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendants to warrant their being called upon to enter a defence.
The judge averred that having scrutinised the evidence of the 21 witnesses called by the prosecution and the exhibits tendered, he could not resist coming to the conclusion that the defendants had some explanations to make on the charge against them.
"It is my humble but firm view that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the defendants.
"Therefore, the no case submission filed by the defendants lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed. The defendants are required to enter their defence immediately," Justice Abang said.
The judge adjourned till October 4 for the defendants to open their defence.