A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State on Friday quashed the remaining two counts charge on sale of 50 buses filed against Senator Danjuma Goje.
Justice Babatunde Quadiri, the Presiding Judge, discharged Goje after the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation applied for the withdrawal of the two charges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was prosecuting the former Governor until June 7 when it handed it over to the AGF to continue with the prosecution of Goje and one Sabo Dakoro over the way and manner 50 old buses belonging to Gombe State Transport Company were sold to government functionaries during his reign as governor between 2003 and 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the anti-graft Agency filed 21 count charge against Goje, but 19 of the charges were later struck out, leaving only two count in Goje’s “Submission of No Case”.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, the counsel for the AGF, Pius Akutah, told the Court that he has an application to withdraw the charges against Goje.
Akutah said: “My lord, we have an application having taken over the case and reviewed the 21 count charges of no submission and by the ruling of this court quashed 19, leaving only two count charges in which they are to enter defence.
“As it is, the Federal Ministry of Justice wishes to withdraw those two charges against the accused persons
“This action is in line with the power vested on the AGF by virtue of section 128 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, particularly sub section 1 of that section (128).
“It’s in accordance with the power vested on the AGF by the constitution that we wish to withdraw the charges before your lordship.
“This is our humble application and urge your Lordship to grant our application.”
Responding, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Counsel to Goje, did not opposed the application.
Akintola said: “My lord, we are not opposing the application but we are urging your lordship to evoke the provision of section 2(a)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and acquit them of the charges.
“The same section gives your lordship the discretionary power to make an order for the accused persons to be discharged and acquitted.
“My lord have the power under Section III.
“As we urge your lordship to consider our humble application, we wish thank you for your patience with us since 2011 when we started this journey on the case.
“We also wish to commend the AGF for the wise decision in bringing this case to an end.”
Quadiri, in his ruling, said pursuant to Section 174(1), particularly sub-section (b) and coupled with Section 108 (2) of 2015, “the application by the AGF to withdraw the charges is hereby granted.
“The accused persons are hereby discharged.”