Wednesday, April 27, 2016 1:50 pm
Justice Anwuli Ichegbuo Chikere, handling the trial of former Nigerian Minister for Interior Abba Moro, has withdrawn from the case.
Chikere, the 60 year old judge from Rivers State, who was expected to hear the amended charge by the EFCC today announced her withdrawal , citing personal reasons.
She also announced she will send the case file back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta for reassignment.
Moro was arraigned by the EFCC on 29 February, with Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Femi Alayebami; a director in the ministry and Drexel Global Technical Nigeria Ltd, for violating government laws in the tragic recruitment of Nigerians into the Nigerian Immigration Service.
They are being accused of collecting N676 million from the applicants under false pretence, a charge akin to 419.
After first of all sending Moro to spend some days in Kuje Prison, Chikere later granted him bail on self recognition, as a former minister.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 27 for definite trial.
The defendants were alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.
EFCC also stated that the award of the contract to Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited had no prior advertisement.
The commission added that there was no budgetary provision for the exercise in the 2014 federal budget, hence forcing the applicants to bear the responsibility of funding the exercise.
The charge had stated that the action ran contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act, 2000.