Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) takes over Senator Goje’s alleged N6.6bn fraud case from EF
The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has taken over Senator Danjuma Goje’s N6.6 billion corruption case taking place at Federal High Court sitting in Jos, from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). As stated in the court, the AGF’s Office took over the case from EFCC in the interest of justice. It would be recalled that Goje, representing Gombe Central at the Senate, in 2011 alongside a former Executive Chairman, Gombe state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Aliyu Ubandoma El-Nafaty, Food Supplier to Gombe state Government, Sabo Tumu – now a deceased and an Auctioneer, S.M Dokoro, were accused of laundering, diverting and misappropriating the sum of N6.6 billion belonging to the Gombe state between 2007 to 2011. EFCC, in a 21-count charge filed before the court, said Goje had misappropriated the state’s N5 billion loan from Access Bank that was granted by the state house of assembly to complete infrastructure in the state and N1.4 billion contract for the supply of dictionaries to the primary and junior secondary schools in the state through the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB). Also, in a 2 and half hours judgement two months ago, Justice Babatunde Quadri struck 19 out of 21 count charges which included 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 19 and 21 which bordered on diversion, laundering and misappropriation.
The Judge ordered that Goje, as the 1st defendant and based on count charges eight and nine, should enter the witness box to explain why he gave an order to the 3rd defendant- S.M. Dokoro to auction 50 Toyota vehicles. The matter was then adjourned to May 8th, 2019 to enable Goje to enter the trial box and defend himself against count charges 8 and 9, but due to ill-health, Goje wasn’t able to be in court. The case was then adjourned to 20th June but hurriedly brought back to Friday (today) after the Attorney General took over the case. However, during today’s sitting the representative of AGF, Mr. Akutu P.U. said that their office took over the case in the interest of justice. In his response, Paul Erokoro, a counsel to Goje, didn’t object to the taking over of the case by the AGF, saying: “No objection in pursuant to Section 174 Sub-1(v) only hope that will expedite action, because 19 out of 21 charges had gone. Also in his submission, EFCC’s counsel, Wahab Shitu didn’t object to the application. Shittu said, “Absolutely no objection my lord for Attorney General to take over at this stage. EFCC has already briefed us on the development. Meantime, the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri adjourned the matter to June 21st, 2019 for the defendants to open their defense on counts eight and nine.