By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Kaduna – The immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Ramalan Yero was on Thursday, May 31, 2018, remanded in prison custody by a Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna over a four count charge of criminal conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and criminal diversion of public funds.
Yero who was arraigned in company of former Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya, Ishaq Hamza former Secretary to Kaduna State Government and Alhaji Abubakar Goya were brought into the court premises by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC) amidst tight security.
The four count charge includes: (1) taking possession of the sum of N700million from part of unlawful activity to wit, bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(0) of the Monetary Laundering (Prohibition) Act 20H (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
“That you Muktar Ramalan Yero (whilst being the Executive Governor of Kaduna State), Nuhu Somo Way (whilst being former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Ishaq Hamza (whilst being the Secretary to the Kaduna State Government), and Abubakar Goya Haruna (whilst being the Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State chapter, sometime in 2015 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court (Federal High Court) did indirectly take possession of the aggregate sum of N700,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred million naira) which you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: bribery and Thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundery (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) Act.”
Former Governor Yero and the three other accused persons were also alleged to have transferred the sum of N700million without passing through financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
They were also said to have accepted cash payments in the sum of N700million from one Jonah Abimaye without passing through a financial institution.
The former governor and the three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and their Counsel, Yunus Ustaz (SAN) who led a team of lawyers orally applied for their bail. However, the presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Shuaibu said he would not accept an oral bail application, therefore remanded the accused persons in prison custody till June 6, 2018 for proper presentation of the bail application documents.
Speaking at the court premises, the Chairman of Kaduna State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hassan Hyat said he is not in the court to defend Yero and the other accused persons but asked that others who have committed similar offenses and serving under the ruling All Progressives Party (APC’s) government should also be brought to justice so that it will not look as witch hunting.
By: Mayen Etim