Ex-Benue-Makurdi Governor Suswam remanded in Kuje prison yard over fraud

Justice and equity is the pillar of democratic system of government.

Today, at the serene court premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered an ex-Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, a two time Governor of the state, who governs the state for 8 years and two of his former special aides, to be remanded in Kuje Prisons in Abuja.

The 32 counts charge of fraud and public fund diversion was read to Mr. Gabriel Suswan and the 2 aides by the Court Registrar.

The ex-Governor, Mr. Suswam was arraigned by the Nigeria government and kept in Department of State Service (DSS) custody sometimes in February 2017 over allegation of possession of firearm found inside the boot of his car is standing trial, alongside his former commissioner for finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia for allegedly diverting about N3.1 billion belonging to the government of Benue-Makurdi.

Mr. Gabriel Suswam and the two aides pleaded not guilty to all the 32 counts when read to them by the Registrar of the court before Justice Kolawole Gabriel of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The presiding Honourable Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the order that the ex-Governor and the two aids, hereinafter refers to as Defendants be remanded in prison, after the three Defendants were arraigned on 32 counts sheet of diversion of a total sum of N9.79bn meant for Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SUREP), a special programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria to empower, create job and engage the unemployed youths in the country

Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SUREP) pioneered and was set up by the former Nigeria President; Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan led federal administration following the partial removal of fuel subsidy in 2012.

The honourable court granted the 3 Defendants conditional bail in the sum of N250million, among other conditions, the honourable court further reiterates that the 3 Defendants  be remanded in Kuje prison in Abuja pending when the Deputy Chief Registrar, Litigation, of the Federal High Court, Abuja would inform the court that the bail conditions had been met and perfected accordingly.

At the hearing of the matter, the government prosecution counsel alleged in the 32 counts charges filed against the Ex-Governor and the 2 aides, the three Defendants that the total sum of N9,791,602,453.8 was meant for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SUREP), scheme and a small fraction of it for police reform.

The total sum of N9,791,602,453.8 was allegedly looted and diverted by the 3 Defendants between sometimes in 2012 and 2015 while the Ex-Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam was the governor of the state for 8years.

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