Monday, 17 October 2011

Ousted State governors fall to anti-corruption body

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested four former State governors on a raft of charges, including include embezzlement, fraud, mismanagement and misappropriation of State-owned funds. The former Governors arrested by EFCC are: former Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel; former Oyo governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; former Nasarawa governor Aliyu Akwe Doma; and Danjuma Goje, the former governor of Gombe State, who is now a serving senator.

All of the former governors arrested are members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two of them – Alao-Akala and Doma – lost their re-election bids to opposition candidates, from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) respectively.

Daniel is the first of the four to be arraigned. He was arraigned in the Ogun State High Court on 12th October on a 16-count charge of embezzlement, fraud and misappropriation of N58 billion in Ogun State funds. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and has been remanded in custody.

Oyo State's Alao-Akala was also arraigned on 12th October alongside two other suspects. Alao-Akala was arraigned on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, contract fraud and other criminal acts, including fraudulent acquisition of properties in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. His alleged frauds amount to a loss of some N20 billion to the Oyo State government. He pleaded not guilty and has been remanded in custody pending the hearing of his bail application.

Alao-Akala was arraigned with his ex-commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hosea Ayoola Agboola, presently an Oyo North senator, and Olufemi Ademola Babalola of Pentagon Engineering Services.

The other two ex-Governors – Doma and Goje – are expected to be arraigned within the next week, in their home States. Doma is alleged to have embezzled N18 billion of Nasarawa State funds, while Goje is alleged to have embezzled N52 billion of Gombe State funds.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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