Justice Muawiyah Idris of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Nyanya, has ordered the detention of Babagana Abba Dalori, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Limited, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for diverting $2.8m and N6.5bn of investors’ funds.
The trial judge gave the order on Monday while ruling on a bail application brought before the court by his counsel, Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), following Dalori’s arraignment by the EFCC for criminal charges.
The EFCC had on September 2, 2019 arraigned Dalori and his company, before Justice Idris on three separate two-count charge bordering on a N95.53m fraud; another two counts bordering on obtaining N4m by false pretence; and eight counts bordering N30.90m fraud.
Dalori is also being prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Venchak Gaba of the FCT High Court, Kwali, Abuja for an alleged N10m fraud.
Following his arraignment before Justice Idris, Gadazama had moved the application for his bail, arguing that the case against him was civil.
He also urged the court to release him on health grounds. The bail application was, however, vehemently opposed by counsel for the EFCC, Maryam Ahmed, who urged the court to deny the application for bail in the interest of justice.
In arguing against the application, the EFCC had also attached 145 petitions in the counter-affidavit, stressing that the EFCC needed more time to investigate the allegations.
Citing Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, Justice Idris dismissed the bail application and held that the charges against Dalori, were criminal in nature and which he must answer for, noting that the charges bordered on criminal diversion, and obtaining money under false pretence, and criminal breach of trust. The trial judge also dismissed the argument for bail based on health grounds, noting that there were no medical documents attached in the application.
The trial court also noted that the EFCC was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Dalori used investors’ money to trade in Forex, as indicated in the confessional statement by a representative of Forextime Limited (the Forex company he used for the transaction), which was attached in the EFCC’s counter-affidavit.
Consequently, Justice Idris, ordered that he should be detained in the custody of the EFCC for the next two months, allowing time for the anti-graft agency to carry out more investigations into shady dealings linked to him, even as more petitions against Dalori continue to pour in.
Specifically, Dalori is alleged to be running a ponzi scheme, which he has used to defraud unsuspecting investors to the tune of N6.5billion. So far, the EFCC has received a total of 146 petitions, with 128 petitions already established against him involving the N6.5billion fraud.
Investigations into his shady dealings also revealed that he traded with investors’ fund to the tune of $2.8million in Forex at a loss, and also gave a N500million tip in order to secure a contract, which however, flopped. Further investigations into the petitions, also exposed his fraudulent activities, which involved diverting investors funds to personal use, to acquire properties, including four filling stations, one hospital, supermarket, watermelon farm, fish and poultry farmhotel, a sachet water factory, houses and estates, and three quarries in Kano, Ogun and Abuja.
Findings by the EFCC also showed that Dalori’s claim of investing funds in transportation through Galaxy Transportation was false as investigators could not trace any existing bus used for transport by his Transportation company.