By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A former Special Duties Minister, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki was arraigned on Monday, with three others before a Federal High Court in Abuja on fraud related charges.
Turaki, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) served as the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs from 2013 to 2015. He was also the Supervising Minister of Labour from 2014 to 2015.
Arraigned with him, on a 16-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), are his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu and two firms allegedly owned by Okpetu – Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited.
EFCC alleged, in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/61/2020, that Turaki used the two companies belonging to his aide, to illegally siphon funds.
The defendants pleaded not guilty after an official of the court read the charge to them.
Upon their arraignment and their request for bail, Justice Inyang Ekwo admitted them to bail and adopted the terms and conditions attached to the administrative bail earlier granted them by the EFCC.
Justice Ekwo directed the EFCC to transfer terms of the bail to the court’s Registry.
He barred the defendants from travelling outside the country without the permission of the court.
Justice Ekwo fixed June 22 this year for the commencement of trial.