The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has began a string of arraignments of former state governors and others on charges of corruption and money laundering involving billions of naira.
The EFCC yesterday charged former Governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdulaziz and two others in Abuja over alleged misappropriation of state funds.
The agency also yesterday charged former governor of Imo state Ikedi Ohakim at a different court in Abuja for allegedly laundering state funds.
The former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS) Steven Oronsaye was also taken into custody for his alleged involvement in over N6 billion biometric pension's enrolment scam.
In Kano, former governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido and two of his sons, who could not be charged to court yesterday for logistic reasons, will be arraigned today, sources said.
EFCC sources also told Daily Trust that two former governors Senator Adamu Aliero, Kebbi and Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, Zamfara state have been invited for questioning next week.
In Abuja, both Murtala Nyako and his son as well as Ikedi Ohakim, in their separate trial, pleaded not guilty to the charges against them when pleas were taken.
The two ex-governors were charged with corruption and concealment of illicit funds during their tenure as governors.
Nyako was charged before Justice Evo Chukwu on a 37 count of conversion of public funds totalling over N40 billion.
Others charged along with him are his son, Abdulaziz Nyako, and his two aides: Zulfikk Abba and Abubakar Aliyu.
Also charged with them are five companies: Blue Opal Limited, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.
Nyako was alleged to have made several millions of naira payments to develop Hill View Estate in Mpape, Abuja through Amdak Investment Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Blue Opal Ltd.
The accused persons were alleged to have concealed the source of hundreds of millions of naira cash lodgements belonging to the state government made into the accounts of Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd with Zenith Bank, which was then used to repay a N500 million loan, granted the farm.
They were also alleged to have diverted hundreds of millions of naira of Adamawa State funds meant for maintenance of peace and security in the state.
The monies were placed under the control of Ma'aji Iro, then regional manager of Zenith Bank Plc, but were diverted to private use.
Ohakim was charged before Justice Adeniyi Ademola on a three-count charge.
He allegedly made a cash payment of $2,290, 000 (About two million, two hundred and ninety thousand dollars) for the purchase of a property at No 1098 Cadastral Zone A04 in Asokoro, Abuja.
He was further alleged to have, between November 14, 2008 and May 1, 2012, collaborated with a certain Tweenex Consociates H.D. Ltd to conceal the genuine ownership of the property.
Ohakim, was accused of instructing the drafting and signing of sales agreement over the said property with one Mukhtar Isa Maidabino and Tweenex Consociates H.D. Ltd.
But he failed to disclose of the said property contrary to section 14 (1) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and section 73 (3) (c) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
Meanwhile, counsel to Nyako, Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Ohakim's counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) both made applications for the bail of the accused persons.
Justice Ademola fixed today (Thursday) for hearing in Ohakim's bail application, while Justice Chukwu fixed Nyako's bail hearing for Friday July 10.