The Nation (Nigeria)

Alleged N29b fraud: Court orders ex-adamawa Governor Nyako, son, others to enter defence

•Their no-case submission rejected

- From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

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.

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