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Immunity Set To Cover Trial Of Adamawa Governor-Elect




The immunity coverage is set to cover the trial of the incoming governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri on charges of misappropriation of state funds. The trial was on Tuesday deferred to July 8, 2019 eight weeks after he would have assumed office of governor. Nigeria’s governors, their deputies and the president and the vice-president are covered with the immunity cloak that stops them from being prosecuted for any offence.

Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja adjourned the to case to July 8, 2019 when it came up for hearing today..

Fintiri, a former lawmaker, who was recently elected as governor of the state, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a five-count charge bordering on bribery and money laundering alongside Mayim Construction and Properties Limited.

He was first arraigned on June 30, 2016 for allegedly defrauding the state by laundering money to the tune of N1.9 billion through his naira and dollar bank accounts. He is also accused of making large cash payment for the purchase of landed property in Abuja during the time he served as acting governor of Adamawa State.

He is also alleged to have during the time he served as acting governor, used N220 million to acquire a property at No 7 Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja, and also repaid a N550 million loan he secured from a bank for the acquisition of a Tea plantation farm from Nigeria Agricultural Bank in Taraba State.

Ibrahim Welye, a former Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, while testifying as the first prosecution witness, had on June 6, 2018 told the court that certain contracts awarded by Fintiri, including the electrification of Kirshinga Village in Madagali Local Government Area of the state, had no approvals.

Welye in a petition dated May 11, 2015 to the EFCC, had alleged that Fintiri fraudulently diverted N497 million meant for the construction of a lecture theatre for the Faculty of Law, Adamawa State University, Mubi, laying only the foundation and never completing the project.

At the resumed sitting today, May 14, 2019 M.E. Eimonye, who stood in for the lead prosecuting counsel, Aso Larry Peters, notified the court that the witness, who had been billed to undergo cross-examination by the defence counsel, could not make it to the court due to logistic issues.

Eimonye, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn to a later date.

Counsel for Fintiri, Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, SAN, raised no objections.

Justice Mohammed, thereafter, adjourned the case for “continuation of cross-examination”.

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