Court Returns Suswam to Prison
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, and two of his former aides, to be remanded in Kuje Prisons, Abuja.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the remand order after the three defendants were arraigned on 32 counts of diversion of a total sum of N9.79bn meant for Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.
Although the judge granted each of the three defendants bail in the sum of N250m, among other conditions, he ordered that they be remanded in prison pending when the Deputy Chief Registrar, Litigation, of the Federal High Court, Abuja would inform the court that the bail conditions had been met.
The prosecution alleged in the 32 counts preferred against the three defendants that the total sum of N9,791,602,453.8 was meant for the SURE-P scheme and a small fraction of it for police reform.
The money was allegedly diverted by the defendants between 2012 and 2015 while Suswam was the governor of the state.
The SURE-P scheme was set up by the then President Goodluck Jonathan administration following the part removal of fuel subsidy in 2012.
Suswam and his his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to all the 32 counts when read to them before Justice Kolawole.