A FEDERAL Capital Territory High Court has ordered the detention of Babagana Abba Dalori, Managing Director of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Ltd, for diverting N7.5 billion of investors’ funds.
Justice Muawiyah Idris while ruling on Tuesday on a bail application brought before the court by Dalori’s counsel, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, following his arraignment by the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC) for criminal charges, gave the detention order.
The EFCC had on September 2 arraigned Dalori with his company on three separate charges – two counts bordering on a N95,530,000 fraud; two counts bordering on obtaining N4million by false pretence; and eight counts bordering N30,908,000 fraud.
Dalori is also being prosecuted by the Commission before Justice Venchak Gaba of the FCT High Court, Kwali, Abuja for an alleged N10million fraud.
The anti-graft agency alleged that he had been running a Ponzi scheme which was used to defraud unsuspecting investors to the of N6.5 billion.
The EFCC noted that it received a total of 146 petitions where 128 of them had already been established against him to involve in the N6.5 billion fraud.
The Commission said its investigations into his “shady dealings” revealed that he traded with investors’ fund to the tune of $2.8million in Forex at a loss. And that Dalori also gave a N500million tip in order to secure a contract, which, however, flopped.
EFCC also exposed that the investors’ funds were diverted for personal use to acquire properties, including four filling stations, one hospital, supermarket, watermelon farm, fish and poultry farm hotel, a sachet water factory, houses and estates, and three quarries in Kano, Ogun and Abuja,” The commission listed some properties he diverted the funds to.
It further stated that its findings also showed that Dalori’s claim of investing funds in transportation through Galaxy Transportation was false as investigators could not trace any existing bus used for transport by his Transportation company.
“In 2016, Dalori veered into full transportation business as he registered Galaxy Transport and Construction Company with his mother as co-director.
“In 2017, he claimed that he invested about N400 million to acquire a quarry licence and started mining at Mpape, Abuja. He added that he had offices in 11 states and continued to lure his investors with mouthwatering returns.
“He continued collecting money from investors until his investors rose to 20, 700.
“But instead of concentrating on the line of business for which the investors had put their money, he further diversified as he registered and delved into Galaxy Global Energy Limited, Galaxy Miners Concepts Limited, Galaxy Global Farms, Galaxy Guest Palace Limited, Galaxy Hospital, Galaxy Computing, Galaxy Block making and Galaxy Car Wash,” part of the document on the investigation read.
Following his arraignment last Monday, Dalori’s counsel, Idris Gadazama had moved for the application for his bail arguing that the case against him was civil.
The bail application was, however, vehemently opposed by counsel for the EFCC, Maryam Ahmed, who urged the court to deny the application for bail in the interest of justice.
EFCC added that it needed more time to investigate the allegations.
After hearing both sides appeal, the judge dismissed the bail application and held that the charges against Dalori were” criminal in nature and which he must answer for”.
He supported his ruling with section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, claiming the charges bordered on criminal diversion. The judge said Dalori obtained money under false pretence and criminal breach of trust.
The trial court also noted that the EFCC was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Dalori used investors’ money to trade in Forex, as indicated in the confessional statement by a representative of Forextime Limited (the Forex company he used for the transaction), which was attached in the EFCC’s counter-affidavit.
Consequently, the court ordered that he should be detained in the custody of the EFCC for the next two months.
This, the judge said would allow the anti-graft agency to carry out “more investigations into shady dealings linked to him, even as more petitions against Dalori continue to pour in”.