Justice Fadima Aminu of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, ordered a former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama and four others to enter their defence in the N450 Million fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. EFCC.
Ruling on a no-case submission by the defendants, Justice Aminu held that, “based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits tendered before the court”, the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendant to warrant them to enter their defenfence.
The court consequently adjourned till October 19-20, 2023 for the defendant to open their defence.
The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the EFCC is prosecuting Bulama on a seven count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450 Million (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira).
Bulama was re-arraigned on Monday, November 8, 2021 alongside Hon. Mohammed Kadai, a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Abba Gana Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks.
The ex-minister served as the Coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election Campaign Committee in Yobe State, while Kadai was his Deputy, with the other three defendants as members. They were alleged to have received the said sum in order to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election.
Count one of the charges reads, “That you, DR. ABDU BULAMA, HON. MOHAMMED KADAI, ABBAs GANA TATA, MUHAMMAD MAMU AND HASSAN IBN JAKS on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 at Damaturu, Yobe State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to do illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended”.
Upon re-arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts and the matter proceeded to trial. In the course of trial, counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed presented five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence before the court before closing its case.
Rather than open their defence the defendants opted for a no case submission, arguing that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.