by Seyi Lawal
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed the ruling of an Abuja High Court which discharged and acquitted the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and his deputy, Bayero Nafada, over a case of corruption and complicity in the embezzlement of N38 billion.
The counsel to the commission, Festus Keyamo, on Wednesday, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
The EFCC is appealing on the ground that the judge, Suleiman Belgore, erred in law when he held that Bankole and Nafada had no case to answer with regards to criminal breach of trust because they were not signatories to the bank accounts of the House of Representatives.
The EFCC contends that although the Speaker and his deputy were not signatories to the accounts, they had approving authority to the said accounts and were entrusted with them.
According to the appellant, evidence clearly shows that the accused persons were present at meetings where it was collectively resolved to obtain loans and increase running costs, resolutions without which the accounts would not have been operated or accessed in the manner they were.
In its appeal, EFCC also disagreed with Belgore that Bankole and Nafada were not liable for theft, since they were being tried for criminal breach of trust.
The commission is asking the Court of Appeal to grant its appeal, set aside the ruling of the trial judge and also order a re-trial at a lower court by a different judge.