The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Friday arraigned a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, on fresh three charges of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
Suswam, who was produced from the custody of the Department of State Service, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday.
The court granted him bail in the sum of N500m.
The case, filed on June 26, 2018, was the third criminal matter instituted against Suswam since he left office as Benue State Governor in 2015.
One of the two other criminal cases involving the diversion of over N3bn of the state’s fund was instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The other, which also involves corruption allegations, was instituted by the AGF’s office.
In the latest case, Suswam was accused in two of the three counts of illegally concealing weapons in his Mercedes Benz 550 4Matic car with registration number BWR 135 AH sometime on February 24, 2017.
The car was said to be parked at Dunes Investment and Properties Ltd, located at 44, Aguiyi lronsi Way, Maitama, Abuja.
The prosecution alleged that the offence violated Section 3 of the Firearms Act Cap F28, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 27(1)(a)(1) of the same Act.
He was also accused in one of the three counts of “converting 25 designer wrist watches worth several millions of naira being properties you derived directly from corruption and concealed in your Mercedes Benz 550 4Matic with registration number BWR 135 AH.”
The offence was said to be contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
The court adjourned the case till October 24 and 25.