Muritala Nyako, a former Adamawa State Governor, has lost his bid to stop the N29 billion Money Laundering criminal charges brought against him by the federal government.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, dismissed his appeal seeking to terminate the case on the ground that the evidence provided by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC did not link him with the commission of the alleged offences.
In a unanimous judgment of a 3- man panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal read by Justice Olabisi Ige, the former Adamawa governor was ordered to go and defend himself in the N29 billion fraud against him.
Justice Ige in the lead judgment held that both oral and documentary evidence tendered against him by the EFCC effectively and sufficiently linked him with the alleged fraud.
The appellate court said the appeal of the former governor was devoid of merit, liable for dismissal, and was consequently dismissed.
The court ordered him to return to the Federal High court in Abuja and prove his innocence in the 37 counts criminal charges against him.
The EFCC had instituted 37-count criminal charges against Nyako at the federal high court in Abuja bothering on on alleged fraud that ran to N29 billion.
However, at the close of the prosecution’s case, the former governor filed a no-case submission claiming that non of the 21 exhibits tendered and the evidence of 21 witnesses linked him with the alleged offences
He had prayed the high court to terminate the charges against him on the ground that a prima facie case was not made out against him to warrant defending himself from the charges.
However, Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court in Abuja had on July 19, 2021, ruled against him and held that he has a case to answer in the fraud charges.
Dissatisfied with the high court decision, the former governor had approached the Court of Appeal praying it to overrule the high court findings.
Justice Ige of the Court of Appeal, however, refused to void or set aside the decision of the high court but instead ordered the former governor to go and face his trial at the federal high court in Abuja.