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Botmang, ex-Plateau gov, docked

Posted by From GODWIN TSA, Abuja on 2008/07/19 | Views: 2139 |

Botmang, ex-Plateau gov, docked


Former Governor of Plateau State, Chief Michael Botmang, has joined the league of past state executives standing trial over alleged corrupt practices. He was yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for stealing the sum of N1.5 billion from the state coffers.

• Placed under house arrest

Former Governor of Plateau State, Chief Michael Botmang, has joined the league of past state executives standing trial over alleged corrupt practices. He was yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for stealing the sum of N1.5 billion from the state coffers.

Botmang, who took over the reins of power from his former boss, Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye, who was impeached under controversial circumstances, is facing a 31-count charge of money laundering an offence punishable under section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Act.

The former governor, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, was denied bail on the grounds that his bail application was not formally presented before the court.
Justice Anwuli Chikere, however, provided a soft landing for the embattled former state chief executive by placing him under house arrest rather than in prison custody, in view of his ill health.

After his arraignment by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the accused, Mr. Makus Saleh (SAN) moved an oral application praying the court to admit him on bail on grounds of ill- health.

The SAN told the court that his client, who was served with the charge sheet on Thursday, was seriously ill as he is suffering from diabetes, hypertension, gont, and chronic kidney disease, hernia.
He said the former governor was also undergoes dialysis twice a week, adding that without that, he found it difficult to eat.

The defence counsel said that in view of the exceptional circumstances of the case, the court should grant the oral application on very liberal terms so as to enable Botmang’s appearances in court.
Accordingly, he prayed the court to confine his client to his house, in view of his precarious health situation to enable him carry out his dialysis since the machine is in his house.
Responding to the oral bail application, the prosecution counsel noted that from the information received by the EFCC, in respect of the accused ill health, he could not withstand the pressure of the prison and consequently agreed that he should be placed under house arrest.

Jacobs noted that the EFCC does not have the facility to maintain the health of the accused person, who, he said, was released to them by his hospital for the sole purpose of taking his plea.
In her ruling, Justice Chikere refused the oral application, insisting on a formal one with all facts relating to the health condition of the accused person.

According to her, “this court cannot grant the oral application for bail. The accused person still has time to file a formal application including ill health as part of the reasons for bail.
“There is nothing exceptional about the case. It is purely a criminal trial and all necessary procedures must be followed and adhered to. However, the accused person is to be confined in his house at Zawani Village in Plateau State. This case is adjourned till October 8 and 9, 2008 for trial.”
Some of the charges against Botmang read as follows:

• That you, Chief Michael Botmang, while serving as the governor of Plateau State had, on November 25, 2006, transferred the sum of N500 million to personal account with the Union Bank, from the Plateau State government and hereby committed an offence punishable under section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Act.

• That you, Chief Michael Botmang, while serving as the governor of Plateau State had on February 21, 2007 transfer the sum of N200 million to personal account with the Union Bank, from the Plateau State government and hereby committed an offence punishable under section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Act.

• That you Chief Michael Botmang, while serving as the governor of Plateau State, had on April 3-30, 2007 illegally withdraw the sum of N397 million from the Plateau State government coffers to your personal account with the Union Bank, and hereby committed an offence punishable under section 14 [1] of the Money Laundering Act.
• That you, Chief Michael Botmang, while serving as the governor of Plateau State had, on February 5-8, 2007, illegally transferred the sum of N232 million from the Plateau State government coffers to your personal account with the Union Bank, and hereby committed an offence punishable under section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Act.
At the end of the trial, the former governor, who was looking pale throughout the court session, was whisked away by security operatives in an ash Peugeot Expert bus with Nasarawa State registration number, AA 698 NBB.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown