Alleged N248.5m fraud : Nasarawa Assembly to appeal court judgement nullifying indictment of former SSG.
The Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi says that the House would appeal the judgement nullifying the indictment of the former Secretary to the Government of the state (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed Tijani over alleged N248.5m unaccounted funds for school projects in the state.
Balarabe Abdullahi made this known on Saturday while addressing journalists in Lafia, the state capital over Aug.7, 2020 High Court, Akwanga judgement that nullifying the indictment of the former SSS by the House.
The speaker said that the House has confidence in the Court of Appeal and would get the right judgement accordingly while calling on the people of the state to remain calm and be law abiding over the issue.
It would be recalled that on June 2, the state House of Assembly ad-hoc committee investigating the released of N1 billion for the renovation/fencing of public secondary schools in the state in 2018, had indicted the former SSG.
Following the indictment, the assembly asked Ahmed-Tijani to refund over N248.5 million as unaccounted funds to the state government.
According to the Speaker, To some of us we are not surprised over the court judgement, we don’t expect anything less than the High Court Judgement delivered yesterday.
” This is because we asked series of questions that the former SSG works and resides in Lafia and we have many courts in Lafia and what informed his decision to take the matter to the High Court, Akwanga.
“So we could not get a definite answer but with the outcome of the judgement yesterday, our question is best answered.
“For us as members of the House, we have monitored the events in Akwanga right from the beginning to yesterday and how can the judge said that we did not gave the former SSG fair hearing on the matter.
” Some of you the journalists are present when we invited the former SSG to the plenary over the issue, he promised that he will take all responsibility of his actions.
” And from that, I have also set up a committee to investigate the matter in which they have invited him and he have also promised again that he will take responsibility of any infraction.
“But we were surprised by the judgement that we have not gave the former SSG fair hearing on the matter.
” I have directed our counsels to study the judgement and we will appeal the judgement, and I assured you we will get good judgment at the higher level,this is just a court of first instance,so we will go to the higher ladder” he said.
“It beats one imagination to noticed that the former SSG even have prior noticed of what the outcome of the will look like as he went with his supporters to celebrate the judgment before the court’s decision,think about it,it is clear.the Speaker added.
When asked if he is aware that the corruption allegation against the former SSG is before the EFCC, he said ” I cannot speak for the EFCC.
” EFCC is saddled with the responsibility of investigating corruption charges.
” We have already uncovered corruption allegation against the former SSG,so EFCC is an independent government agency doing its job at its level which I will not comment on that ” he said.
It would be recalled that in Aug.7, 2020, a High Court sitting in Akwanga, Nasarawa State declared the indictment of former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Tijjani over alleged N284.5 million fraud by the House of Assembly as void with reference to Fair hearing.
The House had indicted the SSG over alleged N284.5 million school projects’ funds when he was a Commissioner of Education in the state.
Ahmed-Tijani challenged the decision of the House over its recommendation that led to his sack by Gov. Abdullahi Sule.
Delivering a ruling, Justice Mustapha Ramat, nullified the decision of the House on the grounds that it failed to afford the SSG fair hearing in the matter.
It would also be recalled that on June 8, 2020, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State sacked Ahmed-Tijani as his SSG.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Hamza Gayam, the Permanent Secretary (PS), Government House Administration.