News / Africa

Nigerian Politician Accused of Misusing Millions of Dollars

Anne Look

The bail hearing opened Friday in Abuja for former speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives, who has plead not guilty to charges that he misappropriated millions of dollars in state funds.

Nigerian authorities arrested former House Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, on Sunday at his home in Abuja after a four-hour stand-off. Authorities said they had reason to believe Bankole was planning to flee the country.

The country's anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, of EFCC, accuses Bankole of misappropriating at least $60 million in state funds.

Bankole went before the judge Friday for a bail hearing, which will continue Monday. Bankole remains in police custody over the weekend.

Speaking to the press before the hearing, attorney for the EFCC, Festus Keyamo, said they would oppose bail.

"We have facts. We have documents to prove that this is not an accused person who can willingly come to his trial because of his manner of arrest. The press followed it. The public followed it. I'm sure you are quite aware of his unwillingness to bring himself to justice," Keyamo said.

Bankole is accused of conspiring in fund-diversion schemes including inflating the cost of hundreds of computers, printers and televisions for the National Assembly and rigging a bid to purchase luxury cars.

Keyamo said the EFCC is still investigating these and other breeches of the Public Procurement Act.  

"There are 16 counts for now, but I made it known to the court that there are other areas of investigation that the commission is still looking at and more charges will be brought," Keyamo said.

Bankole plead not guilty to those 16 counts in federal court on Wednesday. A spokesman for Bankole told the Associated Press that the former parliamentary speaker had not resisted arrest or planned to flee the country.

Newly-elected president Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to weed out the corruption that has characterized Nigeria's government and politicians for decades.

Analysts say the case against Bankole, a prominent and influential politician during the last administration, could be a telling test of that commitment.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid