N4bn scam: EFCC on the trail of Audu, ex-Kogi gov

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*I’m not on the run — Audu

BY EMMA UJAH, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

ABUJA- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, may declare former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu wanted, following the inability of its operatives to arrest him yesterday.

EFCC sources said operatives stormed his 32 Suleiman Barau street, Aso Villa, Asokoro Abuja yesterday but could not arrest the former governor who was said to have beaten the security officers.

The former governor is alleged to have fraudulently enriched himself to the tune of over N4 billion while he was governor of Kogi State between 1999 and 2003.

The latest effort to arrest the ex-governor followed a Supreme Court ruling of November 23, 2012, which dismissed the ex-governor’s appeal to continue to protract his corruption trial by EFCC.

Prince Audu had approached the apex court asking for a stay of proceedings in his trial at the Kogi State High Court where he has been standing trial since December 1, 2006, on an 80 criminal count charge of conspiracy, fraud, criminal breach of trust and embezzlement of public fund.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to consider the questions referred to it for determination after being aware from the records of Appeal that a nolle prosequi had been filed.

Part of the setback suffered by the Commission in the prosecution of the case was the filing of several applications by the defendant for stay of proceedings at the high court pending the final determination of the appeal.

However, Prince Audu lawyer Mr. Abdullahi Haruna, told Vanguard on phone yesterday that he traveled out of the country last week for medical treatment in the UK after an accident he was involved in on September 28 on his way to Jos, Plateau State.

According to him, he traveled to London for treatment immediately after the accident and that he only returned home last week to attend his daughter’s wedding after which he flew back to continue his treatment.

The former governor said he has not received any invitation from the EFCC and that as such the issue of escaping did not arise.

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