Your Case Must Be In Court-EFCC Tells Minimah, Ex Army Chief

*Files N13bn Fraud Charges Against Him, Others

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has dragged a former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Kenneth Minimah, Retd, to court over an alleged N13bn fraud. The amount is alleged to have been diverted by him from monies meant for the procurement of arms.

Gen. Minimah was arraigned in court and charged alongside A. O. Adetayo, a former chief of accounts and budget of the Nigerian Army, and R. I. Odi, a former director, finance and accounts of the Nigerian Army, before an Abuja Federal High Court.

According to the EFCC reports as contained in the August 15, 2016 Committee Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces, CADEP, from between 2007 and 2015, as chaired by Jon Ode, the Nigerian Army received monies, running into several billions, from the federal government for procurement of military hardwares. The monies were however, discovered to have been misappropriated by senior army officers.
In particular, the EFCC alleged that the defendant’s, according to the reports, misappropriated the sum of N13,798,619,309.

“The sums were transferred from various accounts belonging to the Nigerian army and moved to company accounts of entities that had no business relations with the Nigerian army,” the EFCC stated.

“This caused huge loss to the Nigerian army and the federal government of Nigeria through the unlawful gains made by the aforementioned officers who converted the monies for their personal use.

“The legal advice on the investigation opined that a prima facie case has been sustained against the Officers”, EFCC added.

EFCC added that the outcome of the investigation resulted in the filing of charges against the three officers named in the alleged fraud.

Meanwhile, the defendants have filed a suit before the Abuja federal high court challenging the legality of the charges preferred against them.

They are asking the court to, among others, determine
Whether in view of Sections 6(3), (5) (a), 240 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Sections 113, 114 (1), (2) 8(3), 123, 124, 126(1), (2) 8. (4) and 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not subject to be charged arraigned and /or prosecuted only by a court martial as a court of first instance, to the exclusion of any other trial Court, viz: the federal high court, high court of the federal capital territory, and high court of states, in respect of any offence committed by them.”

Upon the determination of the issues raised, they are also seeking the court to restrain the defendant’s from being investigated, charged and or prosecuted by the plaintiffs, agents, privies, Servants or howsoever of the plaintiff, for whatsoever while still in service under the Armed Forces Service Law

“…an order of this honourable court restraining the defendants whether by themselves, agents, privies, servants, or howsoever called from investigating, charging, arraigning and or prosecuting the Plaintiffs for any allege offences or misconduct while subject to the Nigerian armed forces service Law”.
Joined in the suit are the attorney-general of the federation and the EFCC.

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