Court says Hembe has corruption case to answer

Channels Television  
Updated July 4, 2012

An Abuja High Court has dismissed the application filed by the former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, Herman Hembe seeking to quash the corruption charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ruling on the application filed by the embattled lawmaker, Justice Abubakar Umar dismissed the suit on the ground that a prima facie case has been established against Mr Hembe and his co-accused, Chris Azubogu who was the deputy chairman of the committee on capital market.

Justice Umar also held that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the case filed by the anti-graft agency as the agency had sought the leave of the court to file the two count charge of corruption against the law makers.

Justice Umar while adjourning the case to 18 July for trial however took a swipe at the EFCC over the inability of the prosecution to proceed with the case after ruling saying the judiciary is being unjustly accused of delaying corruption cases.

The embattled lawmaker had filed an application insisting that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to okay him for trial, saying the proof of evidence tendered against him by the commission failed to disclose a prima-facie criminal case capable of warranting his prosecution.

The anti-graft agency had also in a 2-count charge it filed against the two lawmakers, alleged that they had at various times, collected gratifications from the Securities and Exchange Commission including funds to attend a capital market conference in the Dominican Republic which they failed to attend.