By Emman Ovuakporie
Former Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, wasÂ arraigned,Â Wednesday, with 18 others before a Federal High Court inÂ Lafia, on a 149-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice I.M. Buba for allegedly looting the state treasury to the tune of about N15 billion during Adamuâ€™s eight-year tenure as governor ofÂ the state.
Those arraigned with the ex-governor included: Alhaji Halilu Bala Usman, Alhaji Usman Aboki, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Prince and Princes Limited, Jonabel Engineering Nigeria Limited, JCC International, Mbani Construction Company Limited, Shinco Nigeria Limited, Henry & Nick Associates Limited.
The others are Water Search Nigeria, Sneccou Group of Companies, Nicas Industry Limited, Addais Nig Limited, Faslan Ventures Limited, Yoojin Nigeria, Kiagama Coy Limited, Sharafa Bros Nig and Riok International.
After reading the charges to the accused, defence counsel, Pius Akubo, argued that they would need time to study the charges before taking of plea, as they were only served few minutes before proceedings.
He also pointed out that only three of the 20 accused were in court, even as one of the accused, Baba Gbefwiâ€™s name was missing from the list of the accused on the charge sheet.
But prosecution counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola,SAN argued that the other suspects not physically present in court are companies used by the human suspects to perpetuate the criminal act. He, therefore, urged the court to adjourn for a few hours to enable the defence study the charges against them and take their plea accordingly.
After listening to arguments from both counsel, Justice Buba adjourned proceedings for one hour. When hearing resumed, he ruled that the prosecution had a duty to amend the charge sheet by including the missing name and properly serve the charges on the defence.