Alleged N29bn Fraud: Appeal Court Rules Ex-Gov Nyako Has Case to Answer

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, yesterday, dismissed an appeal by a former governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), seeking to upturn the ruling of the Federal High Court over an alleged N29 billion fraud.

The court ruled that he had a case to answer.

Nyako and others were being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before a Federal High Court, Abuja, on 37-count criminal charges,bordering alleged fraud to the tune of N29 billion

The prosecution closed its case after calling 21 witnesses through which several documents were tendered in evidence and admitted by the court.

But, rather than open his defence, Nyako opted for a no-case-submission, on the ground that a prima facie case was not made out against him to warrant defending himself on the charges.

Justice Okon Abang, ruled that he had a case to answer and ordered him to enter his defence.

Dissatisfied with ruling, the former governor approached the Court of Appeal, asking that the ruling of the trial court be set aside.

In a unanimous judgment, yesterday, a three-man panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal read by Justice Olabisi Ige, upheld the ruling of the trial court.

The appellate court held that both oral and documentary evidence tendered against him by the EFCC effectively linked him with the alleged fraud, and ordered Nyako to defend himself in the N29bn fraud charge.

An EFCC statement stated the Appeal Court ruled that the ex-governor’s appeal was unmeritorious and consequently dismissed.