BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA-Former governor of Adamawa State, Mr Boni Haruna, yesterday, approached a Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to quash the 28-count criminal charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The ex-governor, who was accused of conniving with three other accused persons to illegally divert N93million from the coffers of the state while he was in office, insisted that the proof of evidence that was tendered against him by the anti-graft agency failed to establish a prima facie case capable of warranting his prosecution.
In a motion on notice he filed through his counsel, Chief Ricky Tarfa, SAN, yesterday, Haruna, alongside his co-accused persons, Mohammed Inuwa Bassi and John Babani Elias, further challenged the jurisdiction of the High Court to try them over the alleged offences levelled against them by the EFCC.
They specifically argued that “the charge as constituted is devoid of all essential ingredients to suggest the commission of an offence by the 1st to 3rd accused persons/applicants.
“The offences alleged in the amended charge as constituted, are vague and imprecise.”
Meanwhile, the 3rd accused person, John Babani Elias, urged the court to free him on the ground that he was equally standing trial before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on the same issues, stressing that the case had reached an advanced stage.
The anti-graft commission is also prosecuting a corporate entity, Al-Akim Investment Nigeria Limited, which it said was the conduit pipe used by the accused persons to loot the state treasury.
The trial judge in the matter, Justice Adamu Bello, slated July 26 to hear their application.
He adjourned the case, following a request by the prosecuting counsel, B.I Ukat, who informed the trial court that the case-file, which was previously handled by Mr Adebayo Adelodu, SAN, was newly assigned to him.
The prosecution, who sought time to peruse the application, equally told the court that the EFCC had amended the substantive charge against the accused persons.