A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has freed Uyiekpen Giwa-Osage, a lawyer to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Lagos High Court on Monday dismissed the $2million money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the lawyer.
The judge held, among others, that the EFCC failed to establish that the money was obtained illegally.
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The EFCC had filed a three-count against the senior lawyer for allegedly laundering $2million in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
Also named in the charge was Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, who is said to be his brother.
The EFCC alleged that the two defendants conspired with each other to make a cash payment of $2million on February 12, 2019, without going through a financial institution.
The offence is said to be contrary to Sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and were liable to be punished under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Both men had pleaded not guilty at their arraignment before the court in August 2019.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has re-arraigned Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, for allegedly laundering the sum of $2million during the 2019 general elections.
He was re-arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, alongside his younger brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie on three counts.
Their re-arraignment follows the transfer of the case file from Justice Nicholas Oweibo to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.
In one of the counts, the Giwa-Osagie’s were both alleged to have conspired among themselves on February 12, 2019, to make cash payment of the sum of $2 million (USD), without going through financial institutions.
When the counts were read to the defendants, they both pleaded not guilty. The court then permitted them to continue on the bail earlier granted by the previous judge.
Justice Aneke also fixed Monday, March 9 to rule on Atiku’s lawyers application seeking permission to travel abroad for his medicals.
The Presidential Election Petition tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the testimony the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) star witness, Osita Chidoka.
Chidoka’s testimony was struck out for introducing facts not canvassed in the petition when it was filed.
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Chidoka served as the National Collation Officer of the PDP during the 2019 presidential election and testified as a star witness for the petitioner.
In its 4th ruling of the day, the Tribunal said the statement was incompetent, having been filed in violation of the provision of the Electoral Act.
The PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar earlier in July presented the former Minister of Aviation as their 62nd witness.