The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, on June 7, 2019 took over the N5billion fraud case of Senator Danjuma Goje from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in exercise of its powers as stipulated in Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution.
The Section confers on the AGF the power to institute, continue or discontinue criminal proceedings against any persons in any court of law. Goje was being prosecuted before Justice Babatunde Quadri of a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State on a 21-count charge involving an alleged N5billion fraud. The trial began in 2012 while Justice Quadri was at the Federal High Court, sitting in Gombe State. The EFCC had through its counsel, Wahab Shittu, called 25 witnesses and tendered several documents to prove its case. However, rather than open his defence, Goje through his lawyers, filed a “no-case” submission on September 14, 2018. Counsel for the EFCC, Wahab Shittu, objected to the application, which was made by Paul Erokoro, SAN. Justice Quadri on March 22, 2019 held that Goje had a case to answer on counts eight and nine of the 21 charges, thus partially granting Goje's no-case submission. However, the EFCC faulted the decision of the Court to strike out 19 of the counts and approached the Court of Appeal seeking for an order to set aside aspects of the ruling that sustained the no-case submission. The EFCC also sought for an order to ask Goje to open his defence. Invariably, the EFCC was prepared to continue with the case as expected. However, at the resumed hearing before Justice Quadri, Pius Asika, counsel from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation announced his appearance for the case, shortly after Shittu informed the Court that the AGF was taking over the case. However, after taking over the case, the Office of the AGF evoked its power of Nolle Prosequi, and thus withdrew from the case, consequently terminating it.
Media & Publicity July 20, 2019