Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, ruling on the ” No case” submission, filed by former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and four others, upheld counts two, four, five and 11 in the 11- count charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, ordering them to reopen their defence on those counts.
Moro is facing trial for money laundering, abuse of office, procurement fraud and fraud against Nigerian applicants to the tune of N675.675 million.
The judge noted that applicants died in the course of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise of March 15, 2014, and as such the defendants must answer for the improper conduct of the exercise.
The judge, however, discharged the defendants on counts one, three, six, seven, eight, nine and 10 respectively. He ruled that count eight was as a result of “misdescription,” noting that the fourth defendant, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited performed its part of the contract.
Reacting to the ruling, EFCC’s counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, said the Commission will appeal the ruling on some of the count charges on which the defendants were acquitted. He also clarified that the defendants have not been discharged and acquitted by the court.
Moro was charged alongside Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former secretary in the ministry, Mahmood Ahmadu, (at large), F.O Alayebami and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm involved in the ill-fated recruitment exercise.
Fifteen applicants died in the recruitment exercise with scores sustaining injures due to the ministry’s shoddy preparations.