Abdu Bulama, a former Minister of Science and Technology has been re-arraigned at the Damaturu division of the Federal High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He was arraigned on alleged money laundering charges to the tune of N450 million, an offence punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.
Mr Bulama was re-arraigned on a seven-count charge alongside four others including a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Mohammed Kadai, Abba Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Jaks.
The judge granted the defendants bail in the sum of N50 million each with two sureties in the sum of N25 million each and the matter was adjourned till January 18,19 and 20, 2022 for commencement of trial.
What happened in court
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the fresh charges brought against them. The prosecution counsel then prayed the court to remand the defendants in the correctional centre pending determination of the suit.
E. Adenitan, counsel to the defendants, told the court that an application for bail is before the court and the prosecution has been served. He then prayed the court to grant bail to his clients.
However, EFCC’s counsel, Muktar Ahmed opposed the application for bail. He prayed the court to grant an accelerated hearing pursuant to section 19 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004.
What you should know
- On May 29, 2018, Bulama was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe State, on a seven-count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450 million.
- The defendants were discharged and acquitted of the money laundering charges after the court upheld their no-case submission following the close of the prosecution case by a Federal High Court.
- However, dissatisfied with the ruling of the lower court, EFCC appealed the decision of the lower court and the Court of Appeal upheld the argument of EFCC that the lower court erred in law by discharging and acquitting the defendants.
- On March 3, the Court of Appeal in Gombe state ordered the retrial of the defendants and the reassignment of the case to another judge of the Federal High Court.
- The former minister is being accused of collecting N450 million from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the 2015 presidential election.
- While Mr Bulama was the coordinator of Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election campaign committee in Yobe state, Mr Kadai was deputy coordinator and the other three defendants were members of the committee.
- The appellate court in its judgment upheld the argument of the EFCC that the lower court erred in law by discharging and acquitting the defendants.