THE Federal Government, on Tuesday, February 7, withdrew the nine-count corruption charge it slammed against three senior officials of the Supreme Court accused of complicity in N2.2billion fraud. Those charged before an Abuja High Court at Jabi were Saleh Gambo, chief registrar of the court, Sharif Abdulrahman, deputy director of finance, and Rilwanu Lawal, assistant director of finance.
As soon as the defendants were to be arraigned on Tuesday, February 7, Hajar Yusuf, a counsel to the federal government, announced the withdrawal of the charges. Yusuf said: “My lord this matter is for arraignment today, but I have been instructed to withdraw the charges.” The counsel did not give reasons for the withdrawal of the charges.
Hence, Justice Abba-Bello Mohammed, trial judge, struck out the charge marked CR/13/16 and dated November 3, 2016.
The defendants had been charged for allegedly diversion of N2.2billion belonging to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, into personal bank accounts domiciled at the United Bank for Africa Plc with account number 2027642863.
It was alleged that they had between 2009 and 2016, received gratification in the sum of N10million from Willysdave Ltd, a private contractor to the Supreme Court of Nigerian, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10(a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same Act.
Federal government alleged that the trio, on different occasions, surreptitiously used their positions to receive gratifications to the tune of over N74.4m from private contractors that provided services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.
— Feb 7, 2017 @ 18:15 GMT