Immediate-past Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, on Tuesday, admitted before the Federal High Court, Abuja, that he paid N8.5 billion on May 27, two days before handing overpower.
Abubakar, however, told the court that the money was paid to contractors, who he claimed executed various infrastructural contracts for the state under his watch. He also admitted that the N8.5 billion was paid to the contractors the same day the money was received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the order of the Federal Government as a refund for jobs done for the Federal Government.
The former governor, through his Counsel, Basil Kpenkpen, had, on Tuesday, in an 18-paragraph affidavit filed to support his application to be joined in the suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), denied laundering the sum of N19.9 billions as alleged by the anti-graft agency.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had, on August 2nd, granted the EFCC’s prayer to freeze the First City Monument Bank (FCMB)’s Operational Account number: 0998552074 of the Bauchi State government.
The EFCC, through his Counsel, Abubakar Aliyu, in an ex parte motion with file number: FHC/ABJ/CS/858/2019, had sought the order of the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by the commission. The state government presently has about N11 billion in the bank account.
Justice Taiwo ordered the EFCC to, within 21 days, notify the respondents; the Bauchi State government and the FCMB about the court’s decision. Counsel to the EFCC had told the judge that the commission was investigating a money laundering case in which the account featured prominently. The judge, however, adjourned further hearing until September 3rd