Top Nigerian politician cleared of fraud charges - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Top Nigerian politician cleared of fraud charges


ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- A Nigerian court has dismissed fraud charges against a top Nigerian politician and his deputy, both accused of diverting more than $244 million in bank loans.

Justice Suleiman Belgore cleared former House Speaker Dimeji Bankole and his former deputy Usman Nafada Tuesday of charges from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The commission had accused Bankole and Nafada of conspiring to obtain the loans using the government's account.

It also accused them of using that money to increase lawmakers' allowances without approval.

Belgore ruled that while the salary increase was "immoral, wrong and condemnable," the two accused had not committed any crime and that blame ought to fall on the house clerk responsible for managing its account.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-01-31-12 0930CST

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