Senator Abba Moro and two others accused of fraud in the 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service recruiting process have been released and acquitted by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to substantiate the accusation of procurement fraud against the defendants, according to Justice Nnamdi Dimgba.
At the time, Abba Moro was the Minister of the Interior. Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry; Felix Alayebami, an ex-director in the ministry; and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, a business that was acquitted and released in 2021, were all indicted.
In the recruitment effort that ended in tragedy with over 14 deaths due to a stampede in several jurisdictions, they were accused of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering.
After 667, 000 applicants paid N1,000 apiece, Justice Dimgba rejected Moro’s charge of abuse of office due to insufficient arrangements and safeguards for the process.
He said that the NIS CG testified that the exercise lacked enough financing and that the NIS CG failed to take direct control of the exercise.
“I feel some wrath should be prepared for PW1 (David Paradang), the Nigerian Immigration Service’s Comptroller General,” he remarked.
Due to claims of nepotism and employment racketeering in prior exercises, Justice Dimgba found Drexel’s plan to undertake an e-recruitment was in the national security interest while evaluating the prosecution’s submissions.
He said that the prosecution failed to prove that the omission to advertise the deal provided Drexel an unfair benefit.
In line with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the court found Nwobia guilty on one of the charges, but deferred sentencing until April 27.