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N6.6bn fraud: Court strikes out 19 of 21 charges against Goje, 3 others

Senator Danjuma Goje.
Senator Danjuma Goje.

A Federal High Court in Jos yesterday struck out 19 of the 21 charges against a former Gombe State governor, Senator Danjuma Goje and three others.

The defendants are facing charges of alleged misappropriation, laundering and diversion of N6.6 billion belonging to the state.

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Goje, who represents Gombe Central at the senate in 2011 alongside a former Executive Chairman, Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Aliyu Ubandoma El-Nafaty, a food supplier to the state government, Sabo Tumu-now deceased and an auctioneer, S.M Dokoro, were accused of laundering, diverting and misappropriating N6.6 billion belonging to the state between 2007 and 2011.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Goje had misappropriated the state’s N5 billion loan from Access Bank that was granted by the House of Assembly to complete infrastructure projects and a N1.4 billion contract for the supply of dictionaries to primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

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In a two-hour and 30 minutes judgment,  Justice Babatunde Quadri struck out charges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 19 and 21 which bordered on diversion, laundering and misappropriation.

He ordered Goje as the first defendant and based on count charges 8 and 9, to enter the witness box to explain why he gave an order to the third defendant- S.M. Dokoro, to auction 50 Toyota vehicles.

Justice Quadri also said based on the evidence before the court, Goje did not launder, divert, misappropriate or award the contract of N1.6 billion for the supply of dictionaries to the primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB) without due process.

Even before yesterday, the court had struck out charges against a former Food Supplier to Gombe State government, Sabo Tumu, who died in an auto crash  last month.

The presiding judge, Babatunde Quadri, adjourned the case to May 8 to enable Goje to explain why he ordered the third defendant to auction 50 Toyota vehicles.

 

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