Corruption: FG to file charges against ex-Governors
The Federal Government is set to file fraud charges against some former governors before the end of October.
This is as the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, has invited the former governors and current office holders for questioning regarding assets declaration.
The probe, which is to be carried out through the National Prosecution Coordination Committee, will have special teams of prosecutors assigned by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami.
A top member of the NPCC told The Punch that the preliminary issues would be completed soon and the Federal Government’s special teams of prosecutors would start filing charges against some of the ex-governors.
Various anti-graft agencies and other law enforcement bodies with prosecutorial powers had since complied with the directive issued by the AGF in August, asking them to remit the duplicate files of the high profile cases they were handling to the NPCC.
Another source told the newspaper that “Before the NPCC began work, the AGF had written to the EFCC and ICPC, asking them to remit the duplicate files of 31 ex-governors and some other politically-exposed persons to his office.
“While the anti-corruption agencies had yet to respond, the AGF again asked the various agencies with prosecutorial powers, including the ICPC and the EFCC, to compile and remit the duplicate files of all high profile cases they had to the NPCC.
“I can tell you that the agencies have responded to the AGF’s directive and the NPCC is now reviewing the files.”
The source added that the files had been distributed to some of the 20 prosecuting teams, each comprising four lawyers, also recently pooled together by the Federal Government through the AGF.
“We don’t want to rush to court. So we have asked some of our teams of prosecutors to look into the files and review the evidence and draft charges where there is sufficient evidence.
“After the review is completed, we will then hold a conference of all the lawyers to review the drafted charges before filing.
“We expect that all these will be concluded soon and we start filing the charges before the end of this month.”
The affected personalities, it was learnt, served as governors for either one or two terms between 1999 and 2015, and were from the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The list contained the names of Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is a former Governor of Kwara State; Godswill Akpabio, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State; and a factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who is an ex-Governor of Borno State.
Other former governors include Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Joshua Dariye (Plateau); Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara); Gabriel Suswam (Benue); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Danjuma Goje (Gombe) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
They also include Ikedi Ohakim (Imo); Achike Udenwa (Imo); Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Jolly Nyame (Taraba); Boni Haruna (Adamawa); George Akume (Benue); Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo); Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto) and Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo).
Others are Usman Dakingari (Kebbi); Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi); Peter Odili (Rivers), and Lucky Igbindedion (Edo).
Only Udenwa, Mu’azu, Dakingari, Sheriff, Akume, Elechi and Akpabio have never been charged by any of the anti-corruption agencies.