Yakubu Busari Jos
A Federal High Court sitting in Jos Division on Friday dismissed charges of money laundering against Sen. Danjuma Goje and two orders brought before it by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
The court held that the prosecution failed to prove or link the first and second defendants to the charges.
It struck out 19 out of 21 charges against the former Gombe state governor, Goje and three others over alleged misappropriation, laundering and diversion of N6.6 billion belonging to Gombe state.
The EFCC had in 2011 dragged Goje
alongside former Executive Chairman, Gombe state, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Aliyu Ubandoma El-Nafaty, Food Supplier to Gombe state Government, Sabo Tumu, and Auctioneer, S.M Dokoro to court over allegations of money laundering, diversion and misappropriation of public funds to the sum of N6.6 billion belonging to the Gombe state between 2007 to 2011
The Commission (EFCC), also prosecuted Goje for misappropriating Gombe state’s N5 billion loan from Access Bank that was granted by the state’s House of Assembly to complete infrastructure in the state and N1.4 billion contract for the supply of dictionaries to the primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB).
Delivering the judgement, Justice Babatunde Quadri, said based on the evidence provided in the court and the failure of the prosecution witnesses to link Goje to any misappropriation of funds or money laundry when he was the governor of the state, the first, dependant Goje, alongside three others were discharged.
Justice Quadri said he could not find where in the 19 charges, Goje was found guilty of the charges against him, looking at the ingredients of the offences.
According to Justice Quadri, the submission on the case is :
“Charge 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 19 and 21 which bordered on diversion, laundering and misappropriation were not proven by the prosecutor. We looked at the ingredients of the offences.”
He said based on the evidence before the court, Goje didn’t launder, divert, misappropriate or award the contract of N1.6 billion contract 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.