Babagana Abba Dalori, Director/CEO, Galaxy Transport and Construction Company was on Thursday, 20 May, 2019 remanded in Kuje Prisons, Abuja by Justice Venchak S. Gaba of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, sitting in Kwali.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC arraigned the 35-year-old Dalori alongside his Galaxy Transport and Construction Company on a one-count charge, bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only from one Abubakar Hajara.
The one-count charge reads: “That you, Babagana Abba Dalori and Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Limited, sometime in 2016 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N10,000,000.00) (Ten Million Naira) from one Abubakar Hajara under the false pretence that the money would be invested in the business of buying and selling of special trip(s) of excavated sand, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, prompting the prosecution counsel, Maryam Aminu Ahmed to pray the court to remand the suspect in prison custody, pending the commencement of trial.
The defence counsel, Daratu Saleh had filed a motion for bail application, which the prosecution counsel disclosed was served the prosecution late yesterday evening, making it impossible for her to open a case today.
“My lord, we were served the motion yesterday, June 19, 2019 at around 4pm. The motion is not rightly preferred as it was served late. We are therefore requesting this honourable court to remand him in prison custody, which will enable us to open a case on the next adjourned date. The motion is not ripe for hearing, we want to file a counter and also attach exhibit challenging the application as it is in the interest of justice for the defendant respond to application,” Ahmed said.
The defense counsel, however, opposed the prosecution’s prayer against the motion, stating that the motion for application was filed since May 10, 2019 with the court.
“When I asked the staff of the court to give me prove of service, he denied me. My lord, it is a surprise to me that this process has not been effective as we have filed earlier,” Saleh said. She, therefore, appealed that the court should rather remand the defendant in the custody of the EFCC, pending trial. This met opposition from the prosecution which posited that the defendant’s rightful place, pending trial was the prison, since the matter was already in court.
The judge ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the commencement of trial to July 3, 2019.
In reaching the decision, Justice Gaba noted that what was fundamental was the prosecution’s right to reply the defendant’s bail application; which they told this court they were served the motion on the 19th day of 2019 and intend to file a counter-affidavit in response.
“If they were served earlier and have not been replied, it will mean negligence from their side, and the denial of this right is tantamount to the denial of opportunity to fair hearing, and that is not justice,” the judge stated.