Legal Nigeria

Appeal Court orders re-trial of Bulama, others

The Court of Appeal in Gombe State has ordered that the case involving former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama, and four others to be reassigned to another Federal High Court for retrial.

Bulama was arraigned by the Maiduguri Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday, May 29, 2018, before Justice Isa Dashen of the Federal High Court, Damaturu, Yobe State, on seven counts of money laundering to the tune of N450 million.

He was prosecuted alongside former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe, Mohammed Kadai; Deputy Coordinator of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Abba Tata; Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks.nullnull

In the course of the trial, EFCC counsel, Mukhtar Ahmed, presented six witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defendants opted for a “no case submission”.

Justice Dashen upheld the submission, discharged and acquitted all the defendants.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC filed an appeal, asking the appellate court to set aside the decision of the lower court.

According to EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the Appeal Court, in its judgment of March 3, 2021, upheld the argument of the EFCC that the lower court erred in discharging and acquitting the defendants.

The court held: “There is inferential evidence against the respondents, which should not be brushed aside.”

Investigations by the EFCC revealed that Bulama and co-defendants received and shared the money, which was provided by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential Election, Uwujaren added.

Source: Guardian Newspaper