EFCC amends fraud charge against Ex-Governor Goje, as witness insists N5b loan was obtained with forged documents

Posted by News Express | 1 June 2018 | 1,394 times

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•Former governor of Gombe State, Senator Mohammad Danjuma Goje

 The trial of a former governor of Gombe State, Senator Mohammad Danjuma Goje, continued Thursday before Justice B. Quadri of the Federal High Court Jos with the prosecution closing its case after the accused persons pleaded “not guilty” to an amended 21-count charge. The defendant equally served notices of moving a no case submission.

Earlier, Chris Owobu, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who is the 24th prosecution witness, narrated how the Commission’s investigation revealed that a N5bn loan facility taken by the Gombe state government under Goje was facilitated through a forged resolution of the State House of Assembly.

Goje is facing trial alongside Aliyu El_Nafaty, S. M. Dokoro and Sabo Muhammad Tumu on conspiracy, embezzlement of funds belonging to Gombe State Government as well as taken loan facilities without following due process.

On 7th February 2018 the case was adjourned to today for continuation of cross-examination of PW24 by the defence counsel, Chris Uche, SAN.

Mr. Owobu stated that the EFCC wrote a letter of investigation activities to Access Bank where the facility in question was collected, requesting the statement of account, mandate card and all account opening documents of the Gombe State Government account. He stated that when Access Bank responded to EFCC’s request, a copy of Gombe State House of Assembly resolution approving the facility and signed by one Shehu Muhammed Atiku, the Clerk of the Assembly was among the documents provided by the bank.

In order to verify the authenticity of the said resolution, the witness said the Clerk of the Gombe State House of Assembly was invited and he volunteered statement to EFCC wherein he stated that the purported resolution sent to Access Bank and on which basis the five billion Naira loan was granted to Gombe State Government, did not emanate from the Assembly and that his signature was forged.

The witness further informed the court that, on the date that the resolution was purportedly made, there was no any proceeding in the House.

Re-examining the witness, prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, asked whether the facility in question was mentioned in Gombe State Appropriation Act or Supplementary Act as domestic loan within the period under review, to which he answered in negative.

The case was adjourned to 3 October 2018.

Source: News Express

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