Alleged N29b Fraud: EFCC begins fresh trial of ex-governor Nyarko, son, others


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced a fresh trial of former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako‎, and his son, Abdulaziz, before s Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged N29 billion fraud.

The defendants were re-arraigned on 37 counts of money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was at the helms of affairs in Adamawa State.

The re-arraignment followed the elevation of the former trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, to the Court of Appeal.

Others arraigned with them on Thursday, March 21, 2024, were Zulkifik Abba and Abubakar Aliyu.

The firms allegedly used in laundering the funds – Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Tower Assets Management Limited, and Crust Energy Limited were also joined as 5th to the 9th defendants, respectively.

The prosecution counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told the court that the matter was starting afresh because the first two judges who were handling the matter were no longer available to handle it.

The trial judge, Justice Peter Lifu, directed that the charge be read to the defendants to enable them enter their plea.

They all retained their not-guilty plea.

Counsel for ex-governor Nyako, his son, and their companies, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), prayed the court to allow his clients to continue to attend the trial on bail in the same terms and conditions earlier imposed by the court when they first took their plea.

Aondoakaa said: “My Lord, we have enjoyed bail from this court since July 10, 2015. Since we perfected the bail, we have never defaulted even once.

“We pray the court to allow us to continue enjoying that bail and for our part, we promise not to default even now.”

Justice Lifu, however, sought to know if the sureties were still available.

“I hope the sureties have not ‘Japa’ but are still in Nigeria, still alive and ready to continue to stand as sureties.”

Following the confirmation of counsel that the sureties were still available and since there was no objection from the prosecution, the judge allowed them to continue on the same bail conditions.

The judge, thereafter, fixed March 10 and 13 for the commencement of trial.

Nyako, his son, and other co-defendants are being tried by the EFCC on alleged money laundering to the tune of N29 billion.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants diverted funds from the Adamawa treasury between January 2011 and December 2014.

Nyako served as governor of Adamawa State from 2007 to 2008 and from 2008 to 2014.

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