A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Suleiman Dabo to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre pending a ruling on his bail plea.
Dabo is the immediate-past member of Kaduna State House of Assembly representing Zaria Constituency.
The presiding judge, Justice James Omotosho gave the order on Monday following Dabo’s arraignment by the police on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged fraud to the tune of N30 million.
Dabo was arraigned alongside his company, Ohman International Venture Ltd., in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/363/2021, as the 1st and 2nd defendant.
In count one, the ex-lawmaker and his company, sometime in October and November 2017, were alleged to have conspired to obtain the sum of N30 million by false pretence from Folashade S. Mojeolaoluwa.
In count two, Dabo and the company, sometime in October and November 2017, were alleged to have defrauded Mrs. Mojeolaoluwa of the sum of N30 million through a GTBank Account No: 0172410075 with the account name: Ohman International Venture Limited.
It alleged that the defendants had, on the pretence of selling a scrap vessel ship known as ADNAN 101, committed the act “when you presented yourself to Mrs. Folashade S. Mojeolaoluwa as the bonafide owner of the scrap ship.”
In count three, they were alleged to have converted the N30 million to themselves, the property derived directly from the proceeds of theft with the aim of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the money.
The offences were said to be contrary to Section 8 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act and Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act LFN 2011, among others.
However, they both pleaded not guilty to the seven counts.
Police counsel, Mathew Omosun, prayed the court to order his remand in view of his non-guilty plea.
But A.S. Egene, who represented Dabo in court, opposed Omosun’s application.
Egene said there was a pending bail application dated November 3, 2021, though another one dated Nov. 3, 2023, was also before the court.
Justice Omotosho then observed from the court file that the former lawmaker was absent in court about eight times since the matter was reassigned to him.
Egene pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
“As a lawmaker, he should know that the temple of justice must be respected,” the judge replied.
In a short ruling, Justice Omotosho held that in view of the fact that the defendant had been absent in the past proceedings about eight times, the court would adjourn to consider and study the case file judiciously and judicially to arrive at its ruling.
He consequently fixed February 5 for a ruling on the bail application.