N450m fraud: You’ve case to answer, court tells Abdu Bulama, 4 others

A Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, has ordered a former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama and four others to enter their defence.

They are being prosecuted in a  N450million fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Trial judge in the matter is Justice Fadima Aminu.

Ruling on a no-case submission by the defendants, Justice Aminu held that, “Based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits tendered before the court,” the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendant to warrant them to enter their defenfence.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC

The court consequently adjourned till October 19-20, 2023, for the defendant to open their defence.

The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the EFCC is prosecuting Bulama on a seven count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450 million.

Bulama was re-arraigned on Monday, November 8, 2021, alongside Mohammed Kadai, a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Abba Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Jaks.

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The ex-minister served as the Coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election Campaign Committee in Yobe State.

While Kadai was his Deputy, with the other three defendants as members.

They were alleged to have received the said sum in order to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election.

Count one of the charges reads, “That you, Dr. Abdu Bulama, Mohammed Kadai, Abbas Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Jaks on or about March 27, 2015, at Damaturu, Yobe State, within the jurisdiction of this court, did agree among yourselves to do illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.”

Upon re-arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts and the matter proceeded to trial.

In the course of trial, counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed presented five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence before the court before closing its case.

Rather than open their defence the defendants opted for a no case submission, arguing that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

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