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Trial of ex-President Jonathan’s aide, Ngozi Olejeme in alleged N3bn fraud stalled by acute diabetes ailment

The trial of former Director of Finance in the defunct President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Organization, Dr Ngozi Olejeme in an alleged N3bn fraud was on Monday in Abuja stalled due to an acute diabetes ailment suffered by the defendant.

Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shifted the trial to December 6 following a passionate plea by her counsel, Mr Paul Erokoro SAN to that effect.

When the trial was to commence, Erokoro told the Judge that doctors to Mrs Olejeme have called her to report immediately to the hospital as she has fainting spells.

The senior lawyer recalled that the defendant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years and has had four major surgeries in the United States of America and South Africa.

He further hinted to the court that she recently suffered heart failure and COVID-19 and is still in the recovery process.

Moved by the plight of the defendant and due to no objection to request for adjournment, Justice Aliyu fixed December 6 for resumption of the trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had on October 21 arraigned Mrs Olejeme on a nine-count charge, in which she was accused of abusing her office, receiving a bribe, awarding contracts without due process, among others.

Mrs Olejeme who was a former Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) was on October 22 admitted bailing by the Judge after spending 24 hours in the custody of the EFCC on the order of the court.

Justice Aliyu adopted the conditions attached to the administrative bail earlier granted Olejeme by the prosecuting agency, EFCC in 2017 to admit her to bail.

The conditions are that the defendant produces two Deputy Directors in government employment to stand as her sureties.

In one of the counts, Mrs Olejeme was alleged to have “dishonestly received the sum of N22,200,000.00” from a contractor with NSITF into her personal account No. 32327505058110 at GT Bank.

Mrs Olejeme was also accused of receiving $48,485,127.00, which was dollars equivalent to some funds received from contractors as kickback.

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