By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—Former Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, was, yesterday, docked before the Federal High Court in Abuja on a 32-count charge of alleged fraud and money laundering.

Suswam, who was governor between 2007 and 2011, was arraigned along-side the former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia, and the then Accountant of Benue State Government House Administration, Mrs. Janet Aluga.

Former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has been invited by the Department of State Services, DSS.

The defendants were, in the charge endorsed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), accused of diver-ting N9,791,602,453.08, part of which was meant for police reform programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

Their bail application was not opposed by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Aminu Alilu.

Justice Kolawole granted the defendants N250 million bail each with one surety in like sum.

The court stressed that the surety must be a Director not below grade level 12 in government employment, or someone with a national honour, who must depose an affidavit of means as well as submit a recent photograph to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court in charge of litigation.

Besides, the court ordered the defendants to surrender their diplomatic and international passports.

Before adjourning the case till October 10 for trial, the judge directed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of bail conditions.

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