Justice A. B. Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja, has granted a request sent by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF to arraign the Chief Registrar, as well as two other officials of the Supreme Court, on a nine-count charge of corruption and diversion of about N2.2bn belonging to the court.
The office of the AGF had on November 3, 2016 instituted a lawsuit against Ahmed Saleh, the Supreme Court Registrar; Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal, accusing them of receiving gratifications from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.
They were scheduled to be arraigned before Justice Mohammed on Wednesday, but neither the accused persons nor their lawyers were present in court. It was learnt that the defendants were yet to be served with the charges as at Wednesday morning.
Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, Hajara Yusuf, asked for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to produce them in court.
“We were made to understand that the matter was assigned to this court just yesterday morning,” she said.
“We will be asking for an adjournment to enable us to produce the defendants in court.”
Justice Mohammed granted the prosecution’s request and adjourned the case to November 17for the arraignment of the accused.
The fraud allegations for which the Supreme Court officials are arraigned are said to have been part of discoveries made by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, during te raids on the residences of some judges in October.
Recall that two of the judges affected were Supreme Court judges.
The contractors from whom they allegedly collected gratification are Willysdave Limited, Welcon Nigeria Limited, Dean Musa Nigeria Limited, Ababia Ventures Limited and MBR Computers Limited.