A federal high court, sitting in Jalingo, Taraba, has ruled that the fraud case by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Sani Danladi, former acting governor of the state, lacks merit.
Danladi, alongside Mark Useni, a former speaker of the Taraba state house of assembly, and Joel Ikenya, former minister of labour and productivity, were facing trial on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and violation of financial regulations.
The (EFCC) had in 2017, accused Danladi, currently the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba, of allegedly collecting N450 million from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, in the build-up to the 2015 general election.
All three men were discharged and acquitted on Wednesday.
Stephen Pam, the presiding judge, said the EFCC could not substantiate its evidence against the defendants and urged the commission to desist from infringing on the rights of innocent citizens.
He gave the anti-graft agency a 72-hour ultimatum to refund N228million to the defendants.
The sum was earlier paid to the commission by the defendants.
“The prosecution did not provide this court with concrete evidence to nail the defendants,” Pam ruled.
“The EFCC is hereby ordered to refund the sum of N228m which the Commission received from the defendants.”
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