By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday charged the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, before the Federal High Court in Abuja over a nine-count criminal charge bordering on alleged money laundering.
Suswam was arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed alongside his erstwhile Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Omodachi Okolobia.
They were alleged to have looted about N3.1billion, being proceeds of shares owned by Benue State government and Benue Investment and Property Company Ltd.
The offence, the duo allegedly committed is punishable under section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012.
Shortly after the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, they were released on bail by Justice Mohammed to the tune of N100 million each.
The court further ordered the accused persons to produce one surety each, adding that such person must be a civil servant not below grade level 12 in either federal or state employment.
According to the court, the sureties must be ready to depose to an affidavit of means.
Nevertheless, Justice Mohammed directed that in any event the accused persons failed to secure a civil servant to stand surety on their behalf, they should produce someone with national honours to stand on their behalf.
The case has been adjourned till December 8 and 9.