Former Gombe State Governor, Senator Danjuma Goje, on Thursday threw light on the withdrawal of criminal charges against him by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
Goje in a statement by his lawyer, Paul Paul Erokoro (SAN), said that the two counts of the charge that were withdrawn by the Attorney-General were “an embarrassing triviality.”
He said that the charges had become more of “persecution than prosecution.”
He noted that it was, therefore, no surprise to those familiar with the case when the Attorney-General of the Federation withdrew the “ridiculous charges.”
The Attorney-General, he said, did the right thing and should be commended for saving the face and the resources of the government, by terminating the futile proceedings.
He also explained that the 19 counts of the charge that were framed around some monetary issues collapsed during the trial.
He said that the prosecution’s own witnesses completely exonerated the defendants.
According to him, it was for the reason of the exoneration of Goje by the prosecution witnesses that the 19 counts were all dismissed by the court, on the “No Case submission.”
Entitled “Truth about the withdrawal, by the Attorney General of the Federation, of the criminal charges against Senator Danjuma Goje” the statement reads:
“Following a spate of inaccurate and untrue reports in the media on the withdrawal of criminal charges against Sen. Danjuma Goje, it has become necessary for the correct facts to be publicly stated, to avoid genuine misunderstanding by well-meaning commentators and also expose the malicious insinuations of mischief-makers.
“First of all, the so-called “N25b fraud” that has been bandied about in the media, never featured in the case. The sum total of all the monies mentioned in the charge was about N8b.
“Of that total, N5b was a loan taken from Access Bank for completion of infrastructural projects such as the Gombe Airport, waterworks, numerous roads, Gombe Jewel Hotels, schools, hospitals and rural electrification. The bank testified in court that the money was properly utilized for the projects. The EFCC investigators also confirmed to the court that the projects were all completed.
“On the N1b agricultural loan, the Central Bank testified in court that the loan was utilised in full compliance with the bank’s loan conditions.
“Other witnesses told the court that the governor never awarded any contract for the supply of food to Government House and Government Guest Houses during his tenure for the N1b alleged in the charge or for any other sum.
“On the N1.6b for the supply of English Dictionaries for primary and secondary schools, the Court was told that UBEC gave its approval and that the contract was advertised in two newspapers and that reputable book publishers and suppliers tendered and that SUBEB awarded the contract to the lowest bidder.
“As can be seen from the above, the 19 counts of the Charge that were framed around the above monetary issues collapsed during the trial. (THE NATION)
JULY 18, 2019 14:18 GMT