Justice M.G. Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State on March 2, 2020 adjourned the money laundering case brought against Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC until March 26, 2020.
The other four defendants are Lucky Imasuen, former Deputy Governor of Edo State; Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo State; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
At today’s sitting, counsel for the EFCC, Larry Aso Peters told the court of the prosecution’s readiness to proceed with the case and so prayed the court to order the defendants to take their plea.
However, counsel for the first defendant, K.O. Obamugie told the court that there were flaws in the charges brought against his client and that he had filed a motion challenging the charges.
He also told the court that Chief Anthony Anenih was dead and that the prosecution has not amended the charges to reflect that.
The same argument was canvassed by the defence team, who argued that there was no dispute that Chief Anenih was dead and so his name ought to be struck out from the charge.
Peters, however, raised objections to their submissions as he said that the process filed was “very competent” and adhered to laid down procedures.
He further argued that mentioning Chief Anthony Anenih’s name in the charge was to situate the matter and to show the date the alleged offence was committed.
“The defendants have earlier taken their plea on this matter before the judge was transferred,” he added.
He therefore urged the court to discard the submissions of the defence team, describing their positions as “a ploy to prevent their clients from taken their plea”.
Justice Umar, after listening to the prosecution and defence, adjourned the matter until March 26, 2020 for ruling.
It will be recalled that the defendants were first arraigned before Justice P. I. Ajoku on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering on May 24, 2018.
The defendants were alleged to have sometime in March 2015 in Benin City directly taken possession of the sum of seven hundred million (N700,000,000) without any contract award which sum was allegedly part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption.
Media & Publicity
March 2, 2020