A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sacked seven, out of the 11 charges levelled against Senator Abba Moro and others in the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) alleged recruitment scam trial.
Moro, a former Minister of Interior and four others are facing trial for money laundering, abuse of office, procurement fraud and fraud against Nigerian applicants to the tune of N675.6 million.
After the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) finished arguing its case against Moro, the senator and the other defendants filed a “No case submission”, praying the court to dismiss the charges against them.
Ruling of the no case submission prayer on Thursday, the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba upheld counts two, four, five and 11 in the 11- count charges preferred against them and ordered them to reopen their defence on those counts.
The judge noted that applicants died in the course of the NIS recruitment exercise of March 15, 2014 and as such the defendants must answer for the improper conduct of the exercise.
The judge, however, discharged the defendants on counts one, three, six, seven, eight, nine and 10 respectively.
He ruled that count eight was as a result of “misdescription,” noting that the fourth defendant, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited performed its part of the contract.
Reacting to the ruling, EFCC’s counsel, Aliyu Yusuf said the commission would appeal the ruling on some of the count charges on which the defendants were acquitted.
He also clarified that the defendants had not been discharged and acquitted by the court.
Moro was charged alongside Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former secretary in the ministry, Mahmood Ahmadu, (at large), F.O. Alayebami and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm involved in the ill-fated recruitment exercise.
Fifteen applicants died in the recruitment exercise with scores sustaining injuries due to the ministry’s supposed shoddy preparations.