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N300m scam: You have a case to answer, court tells Iyabo, Grange, others

Posted by By GODWIN TSA ABUJA on 2008/08/05 | Views: 2532 |

N300m scam: You have a case to answer, court tells Iyabo, Grange, others


An Abuja High Court on Thursday held that former Minister of Health, Professor Adenike Grange, daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, and nine others have a case to answer in the N300 Ministry of Health unspent budgetary allocation scam.

An Abuja High Court on Thursday held that former Minister of Health, Professor Adenike Grange, daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, and nine others have a case to answer in the N300 Ministry of Health unspent budgetary allocation scam.

Not satisfied with the decision of the court, Iyabo who spoke through her counsel, Mr. Joel Akomolafe, said she will proceed to the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of the court.
According to Akomolafe, "We are definitely going to appeal the ruling. It cannot stand at the appeal. We insist that our client can’t be tried based on the charges before the court. In the next few days, we will appeal this ruling."

Justice Salisu Garba had while delivering his ruling on the applications brought by the accused persons seeking to quash the charges against them held that a prima facie case has been established against them by the prosecution.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) dragged Iyabo and 11 others to court for allegedly holding on to N10 million out of the money despite knowing that the source was dirty.
The Senator challenged the propriety of the charge against her. In the objection, she argued that she had no case to answer over the N10 million that was given to her committee by the Health Ministry.
Iyabo, the Senate Committee Chairman on Health and her Committee members spent the N10milion that was given to her committee on a trip to Ghana to perform legislative oversight functions on the ministry.

The EFCC in its argument against the objection said that Iyabo was properly charged because she deliberately held on to the N10 million, even when her counterpart in the House of Representatives returned same when the scam reportedly broke out.
Iyabo’s counsel, Mr Adebayo Olanipekun (SAN), told the court at the last sitting that available documents showed that the committee had embarked on the Ghana trip before the source of the money was made known to the accused.

Adenipekun said that Iyabo had no case to answer based on the following grounds:
That the charge against her was defective; due process of law was not followed; no prima facie case was placed before the court to warrant any charge; organization of retreat was and is still lawful; she never handled N10million belonging to the Ministry of Health; the sum of N10 million paid to the Senate Committee on Health by the Senate was received by the Secretary and expended on the retreat in which all the members of the committee participated and not Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello alone personally.
But Justice Garba in his ruling on the application yesterday said that a prima-facie case has been established against the Senator and other accused person in the case.
He said counsel to the accused should have objected to the propriety of the charge before plea was taking.

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