A former Governor of Benue State and serving Senator, Gabriel Suswam has been re-arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja over alleged N3.1 billion fraud.
Suswam was on Monday re-arraigned alongside a former Commissioner for Finance in Benue State, Omadachi Oklobia on an amended 11-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC amended the earlier nine-count charge on which the defendants were first arraigned in 2015, raising the counts to 11.
They were accused, among others, of diverting about N3.1 billion, which the EFCC claimed formed part of the proceeds of the sale of Benue State’s shares in some companies.
Due to their initial arraignment, the trial commenced, with the prosecution calling four witnesses until the judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed recused himself on the grounds that an online medium, Sahara Reporters, alleged that he had been compromised.
The case was later re-assigned to another judge, Justice Okon Abang, before whom the case started afresh and progressed, with the prosecution calling three witnesses until proceedings were halted on account of an order of the Court of Appeal, directing that the case be returned to Justice Mohammed for continuation.
The Court of Appeal had, in a judgment delivered on the February 19, upheld Suswam’s appeal and faulted the manner Justice Mohammad recused himself from the case.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the trial to December 15.