The attempt by the former Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Adult Education, Dr. Dayo Olagunju and 10 others to stop their prosecution over a N479million scam has failed. Justice Elvis S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday, November 26, 2012 struck out their applications challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the competence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to prosecute them.
Olagunju and his co-accused are facing an 83-count charge before the court for offences that borders on stealing, criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, retaining and processing proceeds of crimes, and awarding of contracts in excess of the approved limit. Ten other directors of the commission who are being prosecuted are Joshua Durodola Alao, Alice Atteh Abang, Jibrin Rikichi Waguna, Ahmed Abubakar, Shehu Abdullahi, Dr. Victoria –King Nwachukwu, Adamu Khalid, Moses Oseni, Francis Awalewa and Bashir Tanko Suleiman.
In his ruling, the judge agreed with the prosecution that the Commission has power under Section 6(a, b, c) of the EFCC Act 2004 to prefer the charges and that the 83 count charge brought before the court were properly framed. He held that contract scam is an economic crime in violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007 for which the court has jurisdiction.
It would be recalled that the case has suffered several setback as three judges had attended to it since Friday July 24th, 2009, when the accused persons were first arraigned on an original 17 count charge. Justices Anuli Chikere, Donatus Okorowo and H.T. Soba were the three former Judges that handled the case.
December 18, 19 and 20, 2012 has been reserved for definite hearing of the case.