Former Energy Minister Saleh Mamman Breaks Down in Court, His Trial Held — Daily Nigerian
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Former Energy Minister Saleh Mamman Breaks Down in Court, His Trial Held — Daily Nigerian

Former Energy Minister Saleh Mamman Breaks Down in Court, His Trial Held — Daily Nigerian

The trial of Saleh Mamman, a former energy minister in the government of former President Muhammadu Buhari, was on Thursday adjourned at the Federal High Court in Abuja due to his poor health.

Mr Mamman, whose trial was due to take place on Thursday morning, fainted outside the courtroom before the hearing began.

Counsel for the former minister, Femi Ate, SAN, informed this to Justice James Omotosho shortly after the case was convened for Mamman to plead guilty.

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After the hearing resumed, the former minister entered the courtroom and stood in the defendants’ dock in the part where his clothes were soaked.

Judge Omotosho then asked why Mamman was sweating and whether it was raining outside.

A former minister who responded to summons from the dock said he was doused with water.

Lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, SAN, while addressing the court, stated that although the case was fixed for Mammana’s trial, an incident occurred outside the courtroom.

Olumide-Fusika said he spoke to Ate outside the courtroom about Mamman’s poor health.

“I have been informed about the incident outside. I want my esteemed senior advocate to inform the esteemed court himself,” he said.

Ate said Mamman, “upon being brought to the court premises, lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated and treated by medical staff of the Federal Supreme Court.”

He added that the charges were served on his client after he was resuscitated.

“They were given to him this morning,” he added.

The senior lawyer said he had approached Olumide-Fusika’s law firm for permission to adjourn the case so that it could be heard on Monday when his client was feeling better.

However, the judge said that due to the workload in court, the hearing could only be scheduled for the end of September.

Ate then withdrew his oral motion for adjournment.

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Olumide-Fusika said he filed an amended indictment earlier in the morning after a mistake was made in the name of the accused and requested the court to read the new indictment to Mamman so that he could accept his request but Justice Omotosho did not agree with him.

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However, the judge asked Mamman if he was able to attend the hearing today, and he replied in the affirmative.

The former minister told the court that he lost consciousness outside the courtroom because he had taken drugs when he had not eaten, and while he was waiting to be summoned, his blood pressure dropped.

However, Mamman stated that he was able to continue the interrogation.

“It could happen to anyone,” the judge said.

The former minister told the court that he brought to the attention of his lawyer an error made by the EFCC in the name in the indictment served on him.

“I complained about the name, that it wasn’t mine,” he said.

Judge Omotosho adjourned the hearing until 1pm today.

NAN reports that the EFCC has filed 12 counts of money laundering against Mamman.

He was accused of money laundering to the tune of N33 billion.

The former minister served as President Buhari’s deputy minister from 2019 to 2021.

On May 10, 2021, he was arrested and detained at the anti-corruption agency headquarters in Abuja.

On September 1, 2021, Buhari fired Mamman and then-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanono as part of a so-called government restructuring.

Mamman was accused of conspiring with ministry personnel in charge of accounting for the Zungeru and Mambilla hydroelectric projects to misappropriate about N22 billion.

Investigations have revealed that there are assets in Nigeria and abroad allegedly linked to the suspects. Millions of naira and dollars have reportedly been recovered.
NAN