Ex-Accountant General begs for time to refund looted funds.

Anamakwe Nwabuoku, who had previously served as acting Accountant-General of the Federation, begged Justice James Omotoso of the Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him further time to complete the recovery of the public monies that were allegedly embezzled by him and his accomplice.

Felix Nweke and Nwabuoku are each facing eleven charges of money laundering totaling N1.6 billion.

Prosecutors are from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

While Nwabuoku was the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Ministry of Defence from 2019 to 2021, the other defendants were accused of carrying out the act.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/240/24, dated May 20, and filed on May 27, by EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, Nweke is named as the second defendant, while Nwabuoku is named as the first.

Following the suspension of Ahmed Idris as AGF owing to an alleged N80bn scam, former President Muhammadu Buhari named Nwabuoku as acting AGoF on May 20, 2022.

But they fired him not long after he took office in July 2022.

The defendants asked the court to reschedule their arraignment for a later date on Wednesday so that they could finish processing the reimbursement.

The court was apprised of a fresh development in the case by Emeka Onyeaka, who is representing Nweke.

He informed the judge that his client had begun to negotiate a settlement.

The attorney for Nweke claimed that the anti-graft agency had recovered a large sum of money that Nweke had returned.

“The second defendant has taken action, as there is a communication to the commission regarding the alleged offences related to making a refund.”

He assured them that the commission would keep them informed once they received the funds.

Defence attorney responded to the accusation by saying, “We communicated with the commission, and they asked us to tarry for their administrative procedure.”

He claimed that, because of the large return, arraigning his client would affect the trial.

So, he asked the court to let them spend more time with the administrative procedure by granting an adjournment.

Maduakolam Igwe, who represented Nwabuoku, agreed with Onyeaka that she should submit.

According to Igwe, his client had gotten a substantial return after following the same steps.

“We’ve written to the commission about this.” Additionally, the first defendant refunded a few clients.

“Could I use my student friend’s submission to streamline the administrative process?” he agreed.

“No negotiation has been made, no settlement has been done, and no agreement has been reached by parties,” Ogechi Ujam, counsel appearing on behalf of the EFCC, stated in response, although acknowledging that the commission had received a proposal letter.

The defendants should be arraigned, we beg this honourable court to grant us permission under the circumstances.

After hearing both sides of the case, Justice Omotosho postponed arraignment until October 14.




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