FG Slams Fresh 3-count Charge Against Former Benue Gov., Suswam as Court Grants Him Bail in Sum of N500m

The Federal Government on Friday slammed a fresh 3-count charge on former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The charges border on illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
The Federal Government in the new charge is accusing the former Governor of illegally concealing weapons in his Mercedes Benz 550 4Matic car with Registration No: BWR 135 AH parked at Dunes Investment and Properties Ltd, No. 44 Aguiyi lronsi Way, Maitama, Abuja, an offence, said to be contrary to Section 3 of the Firearms Act Cap F28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 27(1)(a)(1) of the same Act.
The charge sheet accused Suswam of “Converting 25 designer wrist watches worth several millions of naira being properties you derived directly from corruption and concealed in your Mercedes Benz 550 4Matic with Registration No BWR 135 AH and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under the same section of the Act”.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Gabriel Suswam of Rio Negro, Maitama, Abuja, on or about the 24th day of February, 2017 at Dunes Investment and Properties Ltd, No. 44 Aguiyi lronsi Way, Maitama, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did commit an offence to wit: without lawful authority or licence, you had in your possession one(l) Gloek Pistol with Serial Number KML 275, one (1) Mini rifile with Serial Number 54976 and One(l) AK 47 with Serial Number 5622620063, which weapons were concealed in your Mercedes Benz 550 4Matic car with Registration No: BWR 135 AH and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearms Act Cap F28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 27(1)(a)(1) of the same Act”.
When the charges were read to him, Suswam pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution counsel, Abubakar Kayode Alilu prayed the court for a date to commence trial and that the court should order the remand of former governor in prison pending the hearing and determination of the charge against him.
Suswam’s counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN) earlier drew the attention of the court to a bail application.
Moving the application, Erokoro told the trial Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri to grant Suswam bail on liberal terms, pointing out that he (Suswam) is on bail in two other charges filed against him by the Federal Government.
The prosecution counsel, who did not oppose Suswam’s bail application, urged the court to use its discretion in granting the bail and added that the prosecution intends to call four witnesses in the matter.
After listened to the submissions of counsel on both sides, the court granted Suswam bail.
The court granted him bail in the sum of N500m and one surety in likes sum.
The Judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri said the surety, who must be a residence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), should also swear to an affidavit of means and that the surety’s residential address must be verified by officials of the court.
The surety, the court held must also submit one passport photograph with the court as part of the bail conditions for the former Governor and adjourned the matter till October 24 and 25, 2018.

Author: News Editor

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