Hajj official, APC ex-women leader, 3 others cleared of N1.5bn fraud

Hajj official, APC ex-women leader, 3 others cleared of N1.5bn fraud

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An Edo State High court on Thursday discharged and acquitted Mallam Ali Suleiman, Dr. Aisosa Amadasun and three others of N1.5 billion fraud State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) when the fraud was committed in 2017.

Ali Suleiman who is an official of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) while Amadasun, is the immediate past State women leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were members of the Board.

The quartet including Prince Stephen Alao and Adams Osabuohie and Dove Momodu were arraigned in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday, October 5, 2017 on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy and for conferring corrupt advantage upon self and knowingly holding private interest in a contract award and abuse of office respectively during their tenure as Board members.

Delivering judgement on Thursday in Benin City, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, struck out the case due to the inability of the prosecutor (EFCC) to pursue its case.

The judge held that the “Failure for the prosecutor to appear in court to pursue their case, Mallam Ali Suleiman has been discharged and acquitted”.

Part of he charges preferred against the defendants read, “that you Prince Stephen Alao, Adams Osabuohien, Dove Momodu, Mallam Ali Sulayman and Dr. Aisosa Amadasun, sometime in the year 2013 to 2016, at Edo State conspired to commit an offense under Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, No. 5, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2000.”

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But Prince Alao and others pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile, Mallam Suleiman, while responding to the judgement, said the court’s verdict has shown that there is still hope in the nation’s judicial system.

”We thank God for His mercy, all glories to God, all efforts to put us down didn’t work. This judgement has proven that there is still hope in the judiciary.

“I made up mind by the grace of God that I am going to see it through because I know that I was innocent from the very beginning.

“We thank God for the depth of judgement. We also thank the efforts of our lawyers and ultimately God who said the innocent will not suffer”, he said.

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