Federal Government withdraws N5billion corruption charges against Senator Goje for stepping down for Lawan to emerge as Senate President

Senator Danjuma Goje

Following a deal to step down for Senator Ahmed Lawan to emerge as President of the Senate, the Federal Government has dropped its N5billion corruption case against Senator Danjuma Goje.

The Federal High Court in Jos on Friday cancelled the corruption case against Goje following his apparent agreement with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Naija Buzz News ahead of the 9th Assembly Senate Election reported how President Buhari asked Senator Goje to drop his Senate Presidency Ambition for Senator Ahmed Lawan. Goje had visited Buhari alongside the Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai and Senator Uba Sani, Kaduna Central.

After his decision to step down for Lawan, Naija Buzz News further revealed how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) handed over Goje’s case to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The Office of the AGF on Thursday applied for the withdrawal of the charges against Goje. And Goje’s case was consequently dropped on Friday.

The counsel for the Office of the AGF, Pius Akutah, told the High Court in Jos when the case was brought up that; “My Lord, we have an application having taken over the case and reviewed the 21 count charges of no submission and by the ruling of this court quashed 19 leaving only two count charges in which they are to enter defence.

“As it is, the Federal Ministry of Justice wishes to withdraw those two charges against the accused persons. This action is in line with the power vested in the AGF by virtue of Section 128 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 particularly sub section 1 of that section (128).

“It’s in accordance with the power vested in the AGF by the constitution that we wish to withdraw the charges before your Lordship. This is our humble application and (we) urge your Lordship to grant our application.”

Senator Goje’s counsel did not oppose the application. He asked the judge to evoke the provision of section 2(a)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and acquit his client of the charges.

“My Lord, we are not opposing the application but we are urging your Lordship to evoke the provision of section 2(a)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and acquit them of the charges.

“The same section gives your Lordship the discretionary power to make an order for the accused persons to be discharged and acquitted. My Lord has the power under Section III.

“As we urge your Lordship to consider our humble application, we wish to thank you for your patience with us since 2011 when we started this journey on the case. We also wish to commend the AGF for (the) wise decision in bringing this case to an end.”

Justice Babatunde Quadri in his ruling consequently granted the withdrawal of the charges against Goje.

He said pursuant to Section 174(1) particularly sub-section (b) and coupled with Section 108 (2) of 2015, “the application by the AGF to withdraw the charges is hereby granted.”

“The accused persons are hereby discharged,” the judge added.



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