Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State being prosecuted by the Nigerian government over alleged illegal financial dealings and misappropriation of funds is President Muhammadu Buhari’s preferred national chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, had on Thursday revealed that Buhari told governors elected on the platform of the party that he would prefer Adamu to emerge as the national chairman.
“The president said he preferred the chairman should come from the north-central zone,” Lalong said.
“Then we went back again after deliberations and we asked ‘do you have a preferred candidate in the north-central zone?’ He said, ‘yes, I will prefer if Abdullahi (Adamu) has met the choice.’”
Adamu, who served as governor of Nasarawa between 1999 and 2007 was in March 2010 arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Lafia.
The EFCC had instituted N15 billion fraud allegations against Adamu and others.
The EFCC said Adamu was arrested over the fraudulent award of contracts mostly on capital projects during his eight-year rule as governor of Nasarawa.
The former governor and his co-accused, however, filed a motion countering the charges on the grounds that since the funds alleged to be embezzled belonged to the state, the EFCC was out of line in its investigation. The defendants also pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But the then presiding judge, David Okorowa, ruled that Adamu would stand trial as he had a case to answer.
In 2013, the senator and other defendants filed a suit at the Court of Appeal, challenging the decision of the lower court.
One of the counts against the former governor reads: “That you, Alhaji Abdulahi Adamu, whilst being the governor of Nasarawa State, and Alhaji Halilu Bala Usman, whilst being the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Nasarawa State, between May 1999 to May 2007 and 2002 to 2007, respectively, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did authorise, direct, effect or procure the withdrawal of the sum of N2,456,000,000 in 63 months from the state/local government joint accounts, belonging to 13 local government councils of Nasarawa State, contrary to Section 7(6) (A), 162 (5), (6), (7) and (8) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the local government laws of Nasarawa State and the Joint Account Law, intending, therefore, to cause injury to the public and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 104 of the Criminal Code Act.”
The court had afterwards asked the defendants to “regularise their appeal” by ensuring that despite filing a joint suit, each defendant should have an “appeal number”.
At the court sitting in March 2013, Rotimi Oguese, counsel for Adamu, applied to withdraw some of the applications earlier filed.
In 2018, Nuraini Adamu, son of the former governor was also arrested alongside one Felix Onyeabo by the anti-graft agency for allegedly getting a contract with forged documents.
Justice J. K. Daggard of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano on February 7, 2018, granted Nuraini Adamu and Onyeabo bail in the sum of N8 million each and two sureties in like sum.
The defendants were arraigned on January 17, 2018, on 5 counts of money laundering.