Corruption and fraud: Dimeji Bankole has cases to answer, says Judge

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    Former Speaker of Nigeria House of Representatives, Hon Dimeji Bankole will face corruption charges after all, as his request to the Court to  disregard  charges of misappropriation of N38bn House funds was thrown out on Monday.

    The trial will commence on February 7, 2012, after a court shredded his request and threw it out to authenticate that the charges against him was valid.

    He has been facing corruption charges for misappropriating  a sum  N38bn House funds during his tenure as the House Speaker.

    The former Speaker had asked the court to quash the charges on the grounds that the charges were signed by EFCC prosecuting lawyer, Festus Keyamo, whom he argued was biased because Keyamo had written several petitions against him previously.

    Bankole also argued that Keyamo did not have a fiat from the Attorney General of the Federation, since at the time the charges were made against him, there was nobody serving as AGF.

    But Judge Donatus Okoruwa denied the application and ruled that Mr. Bankole has a case to answer before the court.  The judge held that the EFCC has the powers to engage the services of any legal practitioner it so chooses to try its cases and that there could be no issue with Mr. Keyamo signing the charges.

    Mr. Okoruwa also said that bias or otherwise of a lawyer does not in any way affect the evidence or lack of it against an accused person.

    Dimeji Bankole: Gloom as court says he has cases to answer.

    Lastly, he affirmed that the office of the AGF is an institution and is not limited solely to the person occupying it. As a result, the absence of an AGF therefore does not, therefore, in any way affect the capacity of the office to issue a fiat to the EFCC to prosecute.

    He adjourned the case till February 7 and 8 for commencement of trial.
    SOURCE: Nigeria Politics Online