By Michael Olugbode in Damaturu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Friday arraigned a former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama, before a Federal High Court in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, on a seven-count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N229 million.
Also arraigned along with Bulama, a minister in Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, are Hon. Mohammed Kadai, a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State and deputy coordinator of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Yobe State; Abba Gana Tata; Muhammad Mamu; and Hassan Ibn Jaks.
Arraigning them at the Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe State, presided over by Justice Hammada Isa Dashen,
the EFCC alleged that Bulama, who was also the coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in the state, alongside the other defendants conspired to make cash transactions above the threshold without going through any financial institution.
The anti-graft agency said investigation was conducted and facts were established against the defendants.
One of the count read against them, stated: â€œThat you, Dr. Abdu Bulama, Hon. Mohammed Kassi, Abba Gana Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 at Damaturu, Yobe State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable 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.â€
The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the EFCC, Alâ€™Qasim Jaâ€™afar, thereafter, asked the court to fix a date for the prosecution to present its witnesses.
Justice Dashen adjourned the matter to the July 3, 2018 for hearing of bail application and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the EFCC custody.