By Umar Yusuf
YOLA — Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has dragged former Governor Boni Haruna of Adamawa State and three others to the Federal High Court sitting in Yola, over alleged fraud, conspiracy, forgery, diversion and laundering of public funds to the tune of N200 million while in office.
Also re-arraigned alongside the former Governor were Mr. Mohammed Inuwa Basi, the former Personal Assistant to Haruna, John Elias, his former Commissioner for Finance and Al-Akim Nigeria Limited, a firm allegedly owned by the former finance commissioner.
The case was earlier before Justice Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja, but now transferred to the Federal High Court, Yola, presided over by Justice Bilkisu Aliyu.
The four accused persons who have been standing trial before an Abuja High Court since 2008 on a 28-count charge of allegedly defrauding the state of about 200 million when they served as government officials between 2002 and 2003, pleaded not guilty.
Counsel to the EFCC, Ofem Uket, said the accused, had within the period in Yola and within the jurisdiction of the court conspired between themselves to perform an illegal act to wit: forgery of bank account opening documents with Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, Yola branch, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 3 and 6 of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
He also stated that the offence committed by the accused persons, according to the 28-count charge is punishable under Section 2 of the same Act.
In the joint-count charge, the former commissioner of finance, John Elias who doubled as the Managing Director of Al-Akim Company Nigeria Limited, was accused of allegedly using his said company to siphon millions of Naira to facilitate the Bring Boni Back Project, BBBP.
Elias and the Al-Akim Company Nigeria Limited who were the third and fourth defendants in the case were absent in court but the court had ordered that they should appear before it during next Thursday’s sitting to accelerate the trial.