Court adjourns N450m fraud case against ex-minister Wakil

The money laundering trial of a former Minister of State for Power, Muhammad Wakil, has been adjourned by the Federal High Court sitting in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, till November 4, 2021

Wakil is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with four others before Justice J.K. Dagad.

The other defendants are Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Birma, Dr Abubakar Kullima, and Muhammad Kachalla.

They are alleged to have received the sum of N450m being part of the $115m disbursed by the former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, for the 2015 presidential election.

One of the charges read, “That you, Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March, 2015, at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended)”.

The defendants were first arraigned before Justice M.T Salihu on July 2, 2018. But his retirement from the bench necessitated the re-assignment of the case to a new judge.

When the matter was called on Wednesday, the Court Registrar presented a letter from Nankham Ayuba Dammo, counsel for the first, second, and fourth defendants, asking for an adjournment on the grounds of ill-health.

Counsel for the fifth defendant Z. Hamza also sent a letter asking for an adjournment because he was appearing in another matter before the Appeal Court, Gombe.

Justice Dagad adjourned the case till February 4, 2021.

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