A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ruled that a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, and his co-defendants have a case to answer with regard to the N712m money laundering charges filed against them.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday, 19 September, 2022 threw out a seven-point, no-case submission of the former governor challenging his trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stating that he has a case to answer before the court.
TheFact Daily reports that Lamido is standing trial, alongside two of his sons: Aminu Sule Lamido, Mustapha Sule Lamido, his business associate, Aminu Wada Abubakar and four companies: Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminium Limited, Speeds International Limited and Batholomew Darlignton Agoha, in a 37-count further amended charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N712,008,035.
According to count one of the charges, the former governor used his position as a public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining Jigawa State Government-awarded contracts from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, for companies in which he has interests, with the aim of concealing its illicit origin.
Specifically, on 15 December, 2008, the sum of N14,850,000 (Fourteen Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) was paid into one of his accounts, Bamaina Holdings, domiciled at Unity Bank Plc. Kano, through an Intercontinental Bank Plc. (now Access Bank Plc) cheque no. 00000025, by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria. He thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 14(1) of the same Act.
Count thirteen reads:
“That you ALHAJI SULE LAMIDO (while being the Governor of Jigawa State, Nigeria), on or about 2nd of March , 2012 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court in your account in the name Bamaina Holdings (also referred to as Bamaina Holding Limited) domiciled at Unity Bank Plc. Kano, converted the aggregate sum of N61,919,000.00 (Sixty One Million, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Thousand Naira) being the value of four Sterling Bank Plc cheques nos. 04981304, 04981305, 04981307, 04981308, three Diamond Bank Plc cheque nos. 32909551,32909548, 32909550 and four Bank PHB Plc cheques nos. 24444376, 24444374, 24444375 and 24444372 paid by Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which represented the proceeds of bribery and corruption to wit: using your position as a public officer for gratification by purportedly obtaining contracts for companies in which you have interest from Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited which was awarded contracts by Jigawa State Government with the aim of concealing their illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under section 15(1) of the same Act.”
Furthermore, according to count thirty-two, the former governor, his two sons, Aminu Sule Lamido and Mustapha Sule Lamido, and Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, in April 2012, conspired and retained in the account of Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited domiciled with Skye Bank Plc Kano, the sum of N57,000,000.00 (Fifty Seven Million Naira) transferred from the account of Bamaina Holdings (also known and referred to as Bamaina Holdings Limited) at Unity Bank Plc Kano, which fund they knew represented the proceeds of illegal act of Alhaji Sule Lamido who used his position as a public officer for gratification by obtaining purported contracts for Speeds International Limited, Gada Construction Company, and Bamaina Company Nigeria Limited, from Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, a company which was awarded contracts by the Jigawa State Government, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 17 of the same Act.
Justice Ojukwu, who upheld the submissions of EFCC’s counsel, Chile Okoroma, that Lamido had a case to answer, ordered him to open his defence at the next adjourned date of the matter, which was set for November 8 to 11, 2022 for the former governor to open his defence.
Lamido and his co-accused were first arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court, sitting in Kano, on July 9, 2015 for allegedly misappropriating funds belonging to Jigawa State. He had been re-arraigned severally before his further arraignment before Justice Ojukwu on February 14, 2022.