Ex-Kwara finance commissioner tackles EFCC over N411m fraud allegation

By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin

A former Kwara State commissioner for Finance in Ademola Nurudeen Banu, has denied the fraud allegation leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He also said his declaration as being wanted by the EFCC was unwarranted, unlawful and devoid of due process.

He also said that on 26th January, 2021, the Nigerian Immigration Service had written that he has been cleared by the EFCC while referencing the complainant/respondent’s letter tagged “ref: CR:3000/EFCC/ILR/BF/Vol 1/055 dated 13th January, 2021.

The ex-finance commissioner further said he was not guilty of the N411m fraud allegation preferred against him by  EFCC.

He also said that he had no authority over the funds of Kwara State Government as a Commissioner of Finance and that he was subject to the directive/approvals of the first defendant, who is the immediate past governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.

These were contained in his affidavit before the court filled on Friday, a copy which was obtained on Tuesday. The affidavit was sworn on his behalf by Aisha Mahmud in the suit with charge no:  FHC/Il/18C/2024 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria (complainant/respondent/) and Abdulfatah Ahmed and Ademola Banu (second defendant).

He maintained that he did not abscond in  the United Kingdom as EFCC told the court. He said he only traveled to United States of America on the 21st of December 2023 to see his family and follow up on the medical procedure and that he returned to Nigeria on the 6th of February 2024. He added since that time, all his telephone lines were opened and he did not receive any invitation from the EFCC.

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He also asserted that the issue of jumping bail did not arise because there was no new investigation and invitation by the EFCC after he was declared  an acquitted defendant  on 18th November,  2020, by the court in the previous suit  with case No. FHC/IL/24C/2019.

The ex-commissioner also said the previous charges preferred against him, Travel Messenger, and one Mr. Adeyemi in Suit Number FH/IL/24C/2019, which were withdrawn by EFCC leading to his acquittal by the court are similar to the current/extant charges contained in the case No: FHC/IL/18/2024 against Ahmed and himself.

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