The Federal High Court sitting in Jos has struck out the case against the former governor of Gombe State, Sen. Danjuma Goje, who was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of forgery and diversion of N5 billion while serving as governor in 2010.
However, the court said Goje had more explanations to make on the alleged auction of vehicles belonging to Gombe State government without due process.
In his judgement delivered on Friday, Justice Babatunde Quadiri said the EFCC witnesses brought before the court failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant, Danjuma Goje, and three others committed the said offence.
“From my review of the evidence provided by the EFCC witnesses, the four defendants are hereby discharged of the 21 counts charges levelled against them except count charge 8 and 9.
“There was no sufficient evidence to prove that the defendants forge the state House of Assembly letterhead to obtained a loan facility from Access Bank Plc and there was no evidence that the sum of N1.6 billion was transferred to a different account by the accused persons.”
The Justice Quadiri told the defendants to prepare their defense for counts 8 and 9 which accused them of auctioning Gombe State government’s vehicles without due process.
The defence counsel, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN) said the judgement was fair since the 19-count charges that bordered on the alleged N5 billion were struck out leaving two count charges on the auction of government vehicles.
He said they are ready to defend the case since it was the then Commissioner of Finance that recommended the auctioning of the vehicles which were unserviceable for about 7 years and the governor authorised it.
The EFCC’s counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, praised Justice Quadiri for the ruling and said the two counts charges held against the defendants were heavyweight.
Counsels to both parties jointly applied for the adjournment and Justice Quadiri, thereafter adjourned the case to May 8, 2019, for the defence.