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Journalists Barred As EFCC Arraigns Former Kwara Gov, Abdulfatah Ahmed

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the former Kwara State Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed, over alleged N10 billion fraud.

Ahmed was arraigned on Friday at the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the state capital, on a 12-count charge of fraud.

However, journalists were barred from covering the arraignment of the former governor as they were denied entry into the court.

The anti-graft agency had accused the former governor of spending the sum of N1.6 billion meant for the security and running costs in the state to charter private jets when he was in power.

In one of the counts, the EFCC accused Ahmed of fraudulently converting N400 million of a N1 billion short-term loan received by the Kwara State Government from Ecobank Nigeria Limited to complete ongoing projects in the state.

The EFCC said, “Ahmed (while being the Governor of Kwara State) between 2015 and 2019 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court used an aggregate sum of N1,610,730,500, property of Kwara State Government, meant for the security and running cost of the Government of Kwara State, to charter private jets through Travel Messengers Limited on different occasions for your local travels and which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust or theft.”

Naija News reports that Ahmed served as the Kwara governor from 2011 to 2019 before he handed over to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

Speaking with journalists outside the court premises, Wahab Oba, Chief Press Secretary to Ahmed, lamented what he described as the secret trial of the former governor, saying the trial was a political prosecution.

He said: “The former governor Dr. Ahmed is supposed to be arraigned by the EFCC so we are here to witness the commencement of the trial. Ordinarily, the court is an open place, our concern is that the trial should be transparent and open.

“We cannot understand why the police have denied especially journalists from covering the event.



Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.