Ex-NIMASA boss seeks plea bargain in N304 million fraud

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A former Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro, and two others facing N304.1 million fraud charges in a Federal High Court in Lagos, have indicated intention to enter into a plea bargain.

Haruna-Baba-Jauro

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, before whom the accused are being prosecuted, fixed November 21 for a report on the plea bargain process.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed to the court on Monday that the accused had approached the anti-graft agency to explore the option of a plea bargain.

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Mr. Jauro, Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd., were arraigned on a 19-count charge on April 12.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

Mr. Jauro assumed the leadership of NIMASA following the sack of an erstwhile Director General of the agency, Patrick Apkobolokemi, who is also being prosecuted alongside others for alleged multi-billion naira fraud.

At the resumed proceeding of the case on Monday, Mr. Jauro’s lawyer, Babajide Koku, told the court that his client had decided to enter into plea bargain with the EFCC.

Mr. Koku said his client had already commenced talks with the EFCC.

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The prosecutor, Mr. Oyedepo, confirmed the development to the court.

Consequently, Mr. Olatoregun directed the parties to proceed with the plea bargain and ensure that the process went on without delay.

The court adjourned till November 21 for the parties to return to court to give a report on the process.

The EFCC had earlier accused Mr. Jauro and others of conspiring among themselves to defraud NIMASA of N304.1 million between January 2014 and September 2015.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that the accused converted the sum to their personal use.

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The prosecution told the court that the offence contravened Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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