Give Me Time To Refund Looted Funds – Ex-Accountant General Begs Court

Give Me Time To Refund Looted Funds – Ex-Accountant General Begs Court
  • PublishedJuly 11, 2024

A former acting Accountant-General of the Federation, Anamekwe Nwabuoku, has pleaded with Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court, Abuja to give him more time to conclude the refund of the public funds he allegedly looted with his co-defendant.

Nwabuoku and his co-defendant, Felix Nweke, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

They are facing 11 counts of money laundering to the tune of N1.6bn.

The defendants were accused of committing to the act while Nwabuoku served as the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Ministry of Defence between 2019 and 2021.

The Defendants on Wednesday, prayed the court to halt their arraignment until another date to perfect the refund.

Nweke’s lawyer, Emeka Onyeaka, informed the court that there was a new development in the case, telling the court that his client had taken steps towards settling the matter.

According to the lawyer, Nweke had made substantial refunds of the money traced to him by the anti-graft agency.

“The second defendant has taken steps, as there is a communication to the commission via-a-vs the alleged offences on making a refund.

“The commission is in receipt of the money and promised to communicate to us,” he said.

The defence counsel added that, upon being served with the charge, “We communicated with the commission and we were asked to tarry for their administrative procedure.”

He said since a substantial amount had been refunded if his client was arraigned, such action would affect the trial.

He, therefore, prayed the court to grant them an adjournment to take further steps on the administrative procedure.

Maduakolam Igwe, who appeared for Nwabuoku, aligned with Onyeaka’s submission.

Igwe said his client had equally taken the same steps and that a substantial amount had been refunded.

“We have written to the commission on this. The first defendant has also made some refunds.

“May I adopt the submission of my learner friend to tidy up the administrative procedure,” he corroborated.

Responding, counsel who appeared for the EFCC, Ogechi Ujam, acknowledged that though the commission was in receipt of a proposal letter, she said, “No negotiation has been made, no settlement has been done and no agreement has been reached by parties.

“In the circumstances, we urge this honourable court to allow us to arraign the defendants.”

Justice Omotosho after hearing the parties out, adjourned till October 14 for arraignment.

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