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REWIND: In 2010, EFCC arraigned Adamu, ‘preferred APC chairmanship candidate’, over ‘N15bn fraud’

REWIND: In 2010, EFCC arraigned Adamu, ‘preferred APC chairmanship candidate’, over ‘N15bn fraud’
February 25
09:30 2022

As the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares to elect its national officers, the name ‘Abdullahi Adamu’ has been popping up repeatedly as the party’s “preferred” national chairmanship candidate.

Adamu, who served as governor of Nasarawa between 1999 and 2007 and is currently the senator representing Nasarawa west, chairs the APC national reconciliation committee.

He is also a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari.

With the APC expected to elect its national officers on March 26, 2022, the party’s chairmanship has been zoned to the north-central.


Adamu is said to be “preferred” among party bigwigs, and is also reported to have received the endorsement of stakeholders following the recent meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the platform of the APC.

But while there have been counter positions against his becoming APC chairman, the former Nasarawa governor is not a stranger to controversy.

In March 2010, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a 149-count against Adamu and 18 others, including former Nasarawa state officials and contractors, over allegations involving N15 billion fraud.


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 David Okorowa, judge of the federal high court in Lafia at the time, ruled that Adamu would stand trial as he had a case to answer.

As of 2013, the defendants had 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 to Adamu, applied to withdraw some of the applications earlier filed.

Not much was heard of the matter afterwards, but the former governor had said the case was struck out in 2016.

The senator, who was a member of the board of trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defected to the APC in 2013.


In recent times, he has been quite vocal on political issues, including expressing reservations about zoning.

“Nowhere in the Nigerian constitution does it say we should zone any public office. There is federal character, but not that parties must zone positions for presidency during election,” he had said at a media briefing in September 2021.


“Yes, somebody is saying the east has not had a president. I agree and I sympathise. But the constitution says you can only become president through the ballot box.

“We have been saying it during elections that every vote must count. So, why do you want to zone? Let us just go by merit. Let every party find a way of selling itself in a manner that will garner the kind of votes that will win the election. It is as simple as that.”


Meanwhile, in 2017, the EFCC had said it would arraign Mohammed Nuraini Adamu, son of the senator, for alleged N92 million fraud.

Not much has been heard of Nurainu’s case afterwards.


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