Sen. Danjuma Goje
Sen. Danjuma Goje, former Gombe Governor, on Friday told a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, to strike out all charges filed against him and three others, over alleged N25 billion money laundering.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the case was filed by the EFCC.
Goje presented his plea to the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadiri, when the 12-year-old case came up for hearing.
“We are making a no-case submission because all the charges against us have not been proved by the prosecution,” Goje, through his Counsel, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), stated.
“My Lord, we wish to point out here that the prosecution charges against our clients must be proved as framed.
“Unfortunately, that was not the case here as the prosecution has failed woefully to prove the charges against our clients.
“On count 1, which deals with forgery, the prosecution failed woefully; no single prosecution witness, out of the 34 that testified, said it was Goje who forged the document alleged to have been forged.
“Not only that, there was no proof of forgery as alleged because the hand writing expert didn’t tell the court how and why he came to the conclusion, that the document was forged.
“We are even more curious as to why the said forged document was not tendered in court as evidence,” Erokoro argued.
The SAN also took a swipe at counts 2, 3, 13, 14, 20 and 21, declaring that they out to be expunged, since documents, which could have proved that Goje executed many projects during his tenure, were not tendered by the prosecution.
“My Lord, we wish to state here that this has become imperative because we feel that the EFCC deliberately suppressed the evidences.
“In the absence of that document, all those counts died automatically.
“All other exhibits tendered that rested on issues of money laundering cannot be relied upon and must be taken off, because their contents were not explained to the court,” he asserted.
But Mr Wahab Shittu, EFCC Counsel, objected to Erokoro’s submission, saying that the defendants have cases to answer “in view of documents and evidences before the court”.
He said that the defendants had cases to answer as arranged in the 21-count charges labeled against them.
Earlier, Erokoro had told the court that one of the defendants, Alhaji Sabo Tumu, last week died in a motor accident. He asked the court to remove the deceased man’s name from the list of accused persons.
Justice Quadiri, who expressed his condolence over the sad incident, struck out Tumu’s name on the defendants’ list.
He, however, fixed March 22, for ruling on the “no-case submission” made by Goje and the two others.