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Alleged N6.6bn Money Laundering: Court Frees Goje, Others


A Federal High Court in Jos, Friday, struck out money laundering charges preferred against former Gombe State governor, Senator Danjuma Goje, and three others.

The charges bordered on alleged misappropriation of funds, money laundering and diversion of N6.6bn belonging to the state.

The former governor and the three others were in 2011 alleged to have committed the offences between 2007 to 2011.
Charged alongside Goje were a former Executive Chairman of Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Aliyu El-Nafaty, a food supplier to the state government, Sabo Tumu, and an auctioneer, S.M Dokoro.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), which is the prosecutor, had alleged that Goje misappropriated a N5bn loan from Access Bank approved by the state House of Assembly for infrastructure development in the state.

Goje was also accused of diverting another N1.4bn for a contract for the supply of dictionaries to primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the SUBEB.

The EFCC had through its counsel, Wahab Shittu, closed its case against the defendants on May 31, 2018 after calling 24 witnesses and tendering several documents to prove its case.

The counsel for Goje, Chris Uche (SAN), on September 14, 2018 filed a “no-case” submission while the prosecution counsel urged the court to dismiss same.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Babatunde Quadri said the evidence presented before the court and the prosecution witnesses did not link Goje to misappropriation of funds or money laundering.

Justice Quadri said, “I have carefully examined the evidence laid down by the prosecution before the court and it is clear that the prosecution failed to prove the ingredients of the offences as charged in counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 19 and 21 which bordered on diversion, money laundering and misappropriation of funds.

The court, therefore, discharged Goje and the three other defendants.

Justice Quadri also said the evidence before the court did not prove that Goje laundered, diverted, misappropriated or awarded a N1.6bn contract for the supply of dictionaries through SUBEB without due process.

The Judge, however, ordered Goje to defend himself on would other charges on why he ordered the third defendant to auction 50 Toyota vehicles belonging to the state government.

The Judge adjourned the case to May 8 for the continuation of hearing on the remaining two charges.

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