Bring Suswam to us, Court tells SSS

The State Security Service has received order from the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to produce former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, in court on May 11 2017 for arraignment on allegations of fraud.

Mr. Suswam and two others were accused by the Nigerian government of fraudulently diverting N9.7 billion from funds meant for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE P).
The first defendant is also facing a separate charge for a similar offence.
They were to be arraigned on Tuesday following a 32-count charge proffered against them; but Mr. Suswan was absent, thereby necessitating an adjournment of the scheduled arraignment.
Although the other defendants, Omadaji Oklobia and Janeth Anuga, were present in court, the prosecution said the first defendant could not be served with the charge when approached for that purpose.
“The first defendant is on administrative bail granted him by the police. When we went to serve him, we discovered that he is in the custody of the SSS. Efforts to serve him in accordance with section 2 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, failed.
“Therefore, we served his counsel, in compliance with section 379 (3) of the ACJA,” said the prosecution counsel, Aminu Halilu.
Mr. Halilu further said a letter to the effect of the charge had been communicated and acknowledged by the SSS, stressing that the first defendant was not served because he refused service.
But responding to the claims made by Mr. Halilu, Adedayo Adedeji said the prosecution was wrong in submitting that Mr. Suswan refused to be served.
“Yesterday at about 2 to 3 p.m., two officers from the police walked into our office, seeking to serve a file on this instant suit. Out of respect for this court, we received it in protest.
“Our objection is that being an originating process, it ought to be served personally. What the police did is pretentious. The fact that we are representing him in another matter does not mean that we must represent him, also in this one. It cannot now be correct to say that Suswan refused to be served. We admit that in the absence of the first defendant, this matter cannot hold,” he said.
The presiding judge, Gabriel Kolawole, then adjourned the matter till May 11, after issuing orders for the first defendant to be served with the said notice.

“Prosecution shall effect service on the legal department of the SSS, which in turn shall produce the first defendant in court, except if he has been released on administrative bail. The second and third defendants shall maintain the administrative bail they are currently enjoying”.
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