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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Court Acquits Abba Moro Of Fraud Over 2014 NIS Recruitment Scam, Convicts Former Perm-Sec

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Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja has discharged and acquitted former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro in respect of the charges of fraud arising from the conduct of the botched Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, recruitment exercise in 2014.

Justice Dimgba had, in 2020 quashed seven out of the eleven count charges against Abba Moro and his co-defendants, following a no-case submission, and in a judgement on Thursday exonerated the former minister and a former Director in the ministry, Mr Femi Alayebami in the remaining four counts.

The court had, in 2020 freed Abba Morro, who is presently the Senator representing Benue South of counts 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, along with Mr Alayebami and ordered all the defendants to open their defense in counts 2, 4, 5 and 11.

In dismissing the charges against Abba Moro, the court held that he was neither a member of tenders board nor a member of the committee that recommended the setting up of an e-recruitment portal for the exercise when he was a minister.

He held that the prosecution could not prove how the minister abused his office and further held that, he found him not guilty of the charges preferred against him.

However, the judge convicted Abba Moro’s co-defendant, a former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia.

While convicting her, the judge held that as the accounting officer of the ministry, she was responsible for ensuring that the award of contracts are done in compliance with the Pubic Procurement Act and, Having found that there was no approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, before inviting the four companies, found her guilty.

The Judge deferred her sentencing to April 22.

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