The Federal High Court sitting in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, Thursday, remanded the immediate past Governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Dakingari, and two others in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) custody pending the ruling on their bail application on December 10, 2018.
The two others are Sunday Dogoyaro and Garba Kamba. The defendants were standing trial on 13 counts of conspiracy and money laundering filed against them by the EFCC.
They were alleged to have laundered N450 million; part of $115million collected from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, contrary to Section 1A of Money Laundry Act 2015.
The lead Counsel for the EFCC, J A Ojogbane, said the defendants should take their pleas, adding that the charges be read to them for immediate commencement of their trial.
He told the court that the EFCC was ready for the trial with their witnesses.
However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Counsel for the 1st defendant, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), while applying for the 1st defendant’s bail, told the court that his client was a former Governor of Kebbi State without a record of criminal cases, and argued that he would not jump bail if granted.
He also pleaded that the judge should rule in the interim on his client’s bail application by remanding the 1st defendant in Kebbi State or Sokoto State in the facilities of the EFCC.
The counsel for the second defendant, O A Dada, in his application for bail supported with a 21-paragraph affidavit, argued that if the court granted his client bail, he would make himself available. He argued that the client had been punctual consistently since the commencement of the case before the court.
He also pleaded that if his client would be remanded, they would align with the submission of the 1st defendant that the EFCC custody in Birnin-Kebbi and Sokoto State should be considered as an alternative.
Counsel for the 3rd defendant, Ahmed Fingilla, argued that his client had represented Nigeria in many countries as a diplomat with track record without any blemish.
Responding to the bail applications, the EFCC Counsel J A Ojogbane, urged the court to use its discretion in granting the bail application, stressing that the anti-graft agency had remand facilities in Birnin-Kebbi and Sokoto State.
While ruling on their bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Basse Onu, said the three defendants should be remanded in Birnin-Kebbi remand facilities of the EFCC, pending the final ruling on their bail application on December 10, 2018.