For a long time, Nigeria had been a country known to favor those in power as they have the immunity provided by the posts they hold puts them out of reach.
However, all that has started to change with the rate at which prominent politicians who have skeletons in their cupboards are being exposed.
Some state governors are facing trial for alleged money laundering and fraud; although they all pleaded ‘Not guilty’ at the court of law, their cases are being investigated and seriously worked on.
The general perception in this part of the world is that you can get away with anything in as much as you are immensely rich and in power. Nigerian politicians have stolen from the coffers of the country while serving; they use the stolen treasure to travel the world in expensive jets and send their kids to the most expensive schools ever.
Nigeria, although rich in natural resources, has begun to lose her position in Africa because her resources are being plundered and wasted. It is not unusual for one to find a politician in this nation with landed properties and fleets of cars. A call to serve has been translated to mean an opportunity to accumulate wealth and deprive the poor of their rights.
The declaration of assets launched by President Muhammadu Buhari bared so many secrets; prominent politicians who had bitten more than they could chew were exposed and that was presumably, the beginning of the money laundering series.
With the most recent trial involving some former state governors who were alleged to have been involved in money laundering and fraud, this piece is juicy.
Find below the former state governors that are being tried:
1. Orji Uzor Kalu
The former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, has gotten himself into some serious mix. He, along with udeh Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited, was re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 34 counts of laundering N3.2 billion from the state’s treasury while he was in power.
Kalu was said to have purportedly diverted the funds in bits between August 2003 and January 2005. Kalu and his abettors pleaded not guilty at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Slok Nigeria Limited was accused of working hand in hand with one Emeka Abone to help Kalu keep the stolen funds in its accounts. Emeka Abone is yet to be found.
2. Rashidi Ladoja
Oyo state former governor Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja is also under the radar of EFCC for ostensibly converting N4.7billion from the Oyo state treasury to that of his personal use.
He was re-arraigned 8 years after his first prosecution. He was charged on 8 counts of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds along with Waheed Akanbi.
3. Sule Lamido
Sule Lamido, the former governor of Jigawa state is also part of the former governors being tried for money laundering. Lamido is being charged on a 27-count charge with his sons, Aminu and Mustapha.
He allegedly awarded contracts to some companies of interest using his sons as a front; this was said to have made him abuse his governorship position between year 2007 and 2015.
4. Gabriel Suswam
The former governor of Benue state and Mr Omodachi okolobia, a commissioner of Finance in his administration, are on trial for money laundering charges.
They are being tried at the Federal High Court in Abuja over the alleged diversion of N3.1billion stolen from the proceeds of the sale of shares by the Benue state government.
5. Ahmadu Fintiri
The former Adamawa state governor is on trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja is facing a 5 count charge of money laundering.
Fintiri, along with Mayim construction and properties limited, was arraigned in June 2016 for supposedly laundering about N2.9million through his naira and dollar accounts.
He was also said to have made a large cash payment to buy a property at Maitama in Abuja while he was the governor.
6. Jolly Nyame
Jolly Nyame, the former governor of Taraba, is being charged by the EFCC on a 41 count charge of criminal misuse of about N1.64billion state funds. He is being tried at the FCT High court in Gudu.
7. Murtala Nyako
The former governor of Adamawa state, Senator Abdul Aziz Nyako, his son and Zulkifikk Abba are on trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
They are being charged before Justice Okon Abang on a 37 count charge for criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, stealing and money laundering to the tune of N29billion. They were said to have used five companies to commit the fraud.
8. Joshua Dariye
Joshua Dariye was the former governor of Plateau state; he is being charged by the EFCC on a 21 count charge which entails breach of trust and diversion of N1.162billion of the ecological fund.
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