A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed December 13 for the continuation of trial of a former acting Director General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro.
The former NIMASA boss, who assumed leadership in July 2015, is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Why the trial?
Jauro, alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltdfacing, is standing trial for a N304.1 million fraud.
They were arraigned on 12 April, and had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The court then admitted them to bail in the sum of N5 million each, with two sureties.
Trial judge was absent
The suit, which was scheduled for continuation of trial, was stalled on Monday, following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.
But no reason was given for her absence.
At the last adjourned date on 24 October, the defence counsel had informed the court of his client’s intention to enter into a plea bargain with the EFCC.
This position was also confirmed by the prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo. He told the court that the accused had approached the anti-graft agency to explore a bargain option.
The court had then adjourned the suit for a report on the process.
Like Jauro, like his predecessor
Jauro assumed leadership of NIMASA, after an erstwhile Director General of the agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, who is also being prosecuted alongside others, for an alleged multi-billion naira fraud.
The EFCC accused Jauro and the others of conspiring among themselves to defraud NIMASA to the tune of N304.1m. According to the anti-graft body, it took place between January 2014 and September 2015.
The prosecution told the court that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.