By Senator Iroegbu, Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja and Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that a suspect under investigation by the commission died few hours after he was taken into custody.
This is as the Gombe Zonal Office of the Commission has detained the accountant of Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Balbaya over N338 million 2015 election campaign funds for the State which was intended to compromise the results in favour of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The suspect, Desmond Nunugwo, until his death was being investigated for an alleged N91 million fraud.
According to a statement signed by the EFCC’s spokespersons, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the late suspect fraudulently obtained N91 million from his victim, under the guise that he had business connections in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Uwujaren said the incident had been reported to the police for investigation.
“His demise was confirmed at the hospital where he was rushed after he suddenly took ill,” he said.
According to Uwujaren, the suspect was detained at about 7.30pm on Thursday, in the absence of anybody to take him on bail. Six hours later, he suddenly complained of discomfort and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Uwujaren stated further that; “Late Nunugwu allegedly obtained N91 million from an acquaintance after he tricked her into believing that he had high net worth business associates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates who were at the verge of buying Nicon Insurance and convinced her of their disposition to help her stock fish business. Consequently, she wired N91m into Nunugwo’s nominated account (Mainagge General Merchants) in Diamond Bank.”
According to the statement, Nunugwo became evasive after he had collected the funds, thereby forcing his victim to report the transaction to the EFCC.
“Consequently, Nunugwo was arrested in Utako, Abuja at about 5.33pm on Thursday, June 9, 2016. His statement was taken, where he admitted receiving the money from the complainant, with the additional information that he transferred N30m of the said money to Norway. But he could not explain the whereabouts of the balance of N61m.”
According to the Head of Public Affairs Department of the Commission’s zonal office in Gombe, Gbenga Aroyewun, ‘‘Mr. Mohammed Balbaya was interrogated yesterday over his role in the N338million campaign fund sent to the state.
He said, Mr. Balbaya told investigators that he collected the sum in cash from an official of Fidelity bank in the state based on the directive of Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, the Director-General of Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s re-election campaign organization during the 2015 election.
According to the investigation, Mr. Balbaya said he contacted the Permanent Secretary and Principal Private Secretary to the governor of the state, Dr. Sani Jauro who directed him to share the money to the beneficiaries. He however denied deriving personal benefit from the process.
He said, though Mr. Balbaya did not disclose who the beneficiaries of the money were and the amount each individual or group collected from him, he however gave the EFCC useful information.
Meanwhile, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo and the state’s former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, Mr. Nuhu Paloma , through bank drafts, refunded two million naira each which they claimed to be their personal benefits from the fund.
The said amount came from the sum of N111 million both of them signed and collected from Fidelity bank for the state, but Senator Kumo could not account for the balance of one hundred and six million naira (N106m).
Blasphemy: Police Arraign 5 Suspected Killers of Agbaheme
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Police in Kano State have arraigned the prime suspect and four others believed to have killed a Christian woman trader in Kano, Mrs. Bridget Agbaheme.
The arraignment at Magistrate court 20 Friday morning was done amidst tight security.
According to the police first information report (FIR), out to all the accused persons “ that you Dauda Ahmad “M” of Goron Dutse quarters, Kano on 2nd day of June, 2016 at about 1630hrs, at Kofar Wambai market Kano, while having misunderstanding with Mrs. Briget Mike Agbaheme, held her hand and slapped her on face and with intent to cause breach of public peace and causing death, falsely raised alarm wherein you shouted “ALLAHU AKBAR” and falsely accused one Mrs. Briget Mike Agbaheme “F” of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).”
The Police information report added that “ your false alarm caused the following people (1)Abdullahi Mustapha “M”, (2) Zubairu Abubakar “ M”, (3) Abdullahi Abubakar. “M”, (4) Musa Abdullahi to join others( 1) Salawiyu SNU, (2) Ibrahim SNU, ( 3) Dini SNU, (4) Isyaku Mada, (5) Malam Sani, ( 5) Malam Sani (6) Inusa sufi, ( 7) Malam Umar now at large”.
The suspects were also accused of using dangerous weapons to hit her head which caused serious injuries that subsequently led to her death.
All the five suspects pleaded not guilty to charges against them.
The prosecutor, Usman Jibril prayed the court to adjourn the case for the completion of investigation by the police.
Adjourning the case to June 28, the Magistrate, Mohammed Jibril ordered the suspects to be remanded in prison.