THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused former Plateau State Governor, Chief Michael Botmang of stealing N1.5billion of the state money within five months, while in office.
Botmang who was the Deputy Governor to the former Governor Joshua Dariye became the acting governor following the impeachment of Dariye in December 2006.
The commission subsequently arraigned him on Friday before a Federal High Court in Abuja, with Justice Anuri Chikere, putting him on house restriction because of his failing health.
He was driven into the court premises in a Peugeot Expert with Nasarawa State registration number AA 698 NBB at about 9: 42 am.
The 31-count charge against him for misappropriation of funds to the tune of N1.5 billion belonging to the Plateau State government when the accused was the acting governor of the state, was read to him, but he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Counsel to the accused, M.Y. Saleh (SAN), after the charges were read, tendered oral application for bail because of what he described as “exceptional circumstances” resulting from the failing health of the accused.
He told the court that the accused was diagnosed of five ailment-diabetes, hypertension, gont, chronic kidney problem and has been placed on dialysis twice a week.
EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, however, did not object to the bail application, saying they were aware of his health condition.
But the judge, Justice Anuri, however, insisted that the right procedure be followed, saying, “I don’t grant bail on oral application.”
Because of the health condition of the accused, the court in its wisdom, confined him to his house at Zawan Village , Jos South Local Government Council, Plateau State.