Former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, Aminu Wada Abubakar, Bamaina Holdings Limited and Speeds International Limited has had their trial on money laundering and abuse of office adjourned by the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, Prime Business Africa reports.
The continuation of cross examination of the star prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas has been fixed for 5 November, 2021.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFC, are prosecuting the defendants on a 43-count charge bothering on money laundering and abuse of office to the tune of N1. 35 billion.
At the last adjournment, the witness, Wetkas, demonstrated to the Court how the defendants used their companies to receive several payments suspected to be kickbacks from contractors masked as payments for sub-contracts while Lamido was governor.
On Thursday however Wekas, an investigator with the EFCC was cross examined by the lead defence counsel, Joe Agi, SAN.
Agi explained that the investigation of former Governor Sule Lamido was triggered by the arrest of one of his sons, Aminu, at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport for failing to declare Forty Thousand United States Dollars ($40,000) to the authorities on his way to Egypt.
Justice Ojukwu acknowledge the argument of the prosecution but allowed the defence to continue with the cross-examination.
Aji again posed the question, whether the classification of kickback applies to all the defendants. Wetkas explained that, though the 2nd and 3rd defendants are not government officials, “they are directors in the companies”. “Yes, they are not officials of the Jigawa State Government, but they are directors of the companies, and the companies have only one signatory, which is the 1st defendant.”
Meanwhile, Justice Ojukwu granted the 1st defendant permission to travel to Germany for medicals. The Judge directed the Court registrar to release Sule Lamido’s passport, and ordered the Nigeria Immigration Service and other law enforcement agencies, including the EFCC, not to prevent him from traveling. He is expected to return the document on December 6, 2021.
The case was adjourned to tomorrow, Friday, November 5, 2021 for continuation of trial according to the release signed by Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.