Alleged Money Laundering: Court Strikes Out Case Against Belgore

Supreme Court has struck out the case against the former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) in Kwara State, Dele Belgore (SAN).

 

The Supreme Court, sitting in Abuja on Friday, have struck out a money laundering charge brought against the former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kwara State, Dele Belgore.

The Apex court allowed the appeal against the ruling of Justice Rilwan Aikawa of Federal High Court, Lagos delivered in November 2018.

Justice Aikawa had dismissed a ‘no case submission’ application made by Belgore and his co-defendant, a former Minister of Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, in the N450m Money Laundering Charge made against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In dismissing the application, the lower court had held that after a careful study of the prosecution’s case, he had formed an opinion that the defendants had certain explanations to make. The judge then ordered them to open their defence.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Belgore filed an appeal at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal. After considering the appeal, the court dismissed it.

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But in its ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal on the ground that the Federal High Court, Lagos Division lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the charge.

The Court was of the view that offences for which the defendant was charged cannot be tried in Lagos but where the offence was allegedly committed in Kwara State.

Following this verdict, the EFCC has said that the defendant will be arraigned afresh in the state.

Alleged N450m Fraud: Court Fixes March 12 To Rule On Belgore’s Electronic Evidence

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

The Federal High Court sitting Lagos has fixed March 12, 2020, to rule on the admissibility of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) footage and its Certificate of Identification sought to be tendered in evidence by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore.

Mr Belgore is standing trial alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, on five counts of conspiracy and possession of proceeds of crime to the tune of N450million.

The Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleged that the defendants laundered the money in the build-up to the 2015 General Elections.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the N450m was part of a larger sum of $115.01m, which a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly doled out to influence the outcome of the 2015 General Elections.

The EFCC also alleged that the defendants handled the huge sum without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the money laundering (prohibition) act.

At the proceedings today (Wednesday), Ebun Sofunde (SAN), counsel to the first defendant Belgore, sought the leave of the court to recall him (Belgore) into the witness box.

Sofunde asked Belgore to confirm the subpoena served on Yinka Omar, branch manager, fidelity branch, Ilorin, Kwara, asking him to produce the CCTV footage of the events that took place in the bank when the money was collected and its certificate of identification, which he did.

Belgore also said that after the documents were produced before the court, he viewed part of the footage, adding that he was aware that some people in his legal team had also seen the footage.

Shofunde, thereafter, sought to tender the CCTV footage contained in a flash drive and the certificate of identification attached to it.

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, however, objected to the tendering of the documents on the grounds that the defendant was not the maker, so he could not give direct oral evidence or be cross-examined on it.

“In view of the fact that the device and certificate of identification were not made by the defendant; and the fact that he was not privy to the making, direct oral evidence will not be admissible, according to section 84 of the evidence act,” Oyedepo said.

He further argued that “the defence did not apply to tender the document in their subpoena, but to only produce it; hence, the admissibility of the document is to be determined by the court.”

Oyedepo, therefore, urged the court to reject the documents.

Sofunde, countered by submitting that the defendant was not giving direct evidence but only identifying the documents before him.

The defence counsel also argued that Section 84 does not say that documents cannot be tendered without the maker, but only stipulates what needs to be done for a document to be tendered in evidence.

After listening to both parties, Justice Aikawa adjourned the case till March 12 to rule.

Alleged Money Laundering: Dele Belgore Testifies, Claims Innocence

EFCC To Arraign Dele Belgore

 

 

A former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Mr. Dele Belgore who is standing trial before the Federal High Court, Lagos over an alleged N450 million money laundering charge, has told the court that he is innocent of the allegations.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, he told Justice Rilwan Aikawa that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) knew the culprits of the offense.

While accusing the anti-graft agency of freeing them, he narrated to the court of how charges were filed against him despite claiming not to have benefitted from the said amount.

Belgore who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a former Minister of Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman are standing trial before the court on a 9-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.

At today’s proceedings, Belgore who was the campaign coordinator of the re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Kwara State concluded his testimony in defence of the allegation.

While being led in evidence by his lawyer, Ebun Sofinde (SAN), the first defendant told the court that in the statement he made at EFCC, he gave detailed information to the commission about who took possession of the sum and disbursed it.

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According to him, he did not admit at any time either orally or In writing of being guilty of the offences.

“I denied all the 9-count charge made against me, I have never made any payment to all the names mentioned in the charge, and in order to assist the investigators, I gave them detailed information on who took possession of the fund how it was disbursed and used, I didn’t benefit from the funds,” he said.

Belgore had also told the court that the N450 million which was set aside as campaign fund for Jonathan’s re-election in 2015 was from series of fund-raising activities done by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While rejecting claims that the money was from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, he denied having dealings with dealings or knowledge that the money came from her.

He also described as untrue, claims by the EFCC investigators that the money was part of a larger sum of N23bn allegedly collected by Mrs Diezani from three oil marketers: Northern Belt Ltd, Actus Integrated Ltd, Midwestern Company and one, Mr Leno Laitan, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

In his ruling, Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned till May 6, for the cross-examination of the first defendant.

Meanwhile, the court has granted permission to the second defendant to travel to Mecca for lesser Hajj, (Humurah).

In granting the leave to travel out of the jurisdiction, the court ordered him to provide a surety who must be a civil servant and must reside in Lagos or a landed property owner in the state.

The court then ordered the second defendant to return to the country before May 6.

Alleged N450m Fraud: Belgore Denies Any Meeting With Diezani

EFCC To Arraign Dele Belgore

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore, who is standing trial for allegedly laundering N450m has denied ever meeting or dealing with the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

At the continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, Mr. Belgore said he was not aware that the N450m he signed for in 2015 came from her whereas he was made to believe that the money was from the Campaign Organisation.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Belgore, alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, for allegedly laundering the N450m in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the N450m was part of a larger sum of $115.01m, which the former Petroleum Minister, allegedly doled out to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

In the nine counts, the EFCC accused them of making cash payment of N10m to Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo.

The commission said they also paid N10m to a Commissioner of Police, Garba Saliu, on March 27, 2015, without going through a financial institution.

The sums, the commission said, exceeded the amount authorized by law and violated Sections 1(a) and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act of 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b).

According to the EFCC, the defendants “directly took possession of the sum of N450m,” which they “reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful act.”

Both Belgore and Suleiman have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court also watched two separate video clips from a bank CCTV camera recordings.

The video clips were tendered as evidence by Belgore to prove that he did not leave the bank with the money even though he signed for it.

The first clip lasted for about 55 minutes, while the second one lasted for one and half hours.

At the end of proceedings, Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned continuation of trial till March 27.

Court Adjourns Proceedings In Belgore’s Trial Till March

Court Adjourns Proceedings In Belgore’s Trial Till March

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed March 5 for the viewing of the CCTV clips of the events that took place on March 26, 2015, when a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore, visited a Fidelity Bank Branch in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The application to view the CCTV clip was made on Thursday by Belgore’s lawyer and SAN, Mr Ebun Sofunde.

Sofunde applied that the CCTV clip be viewed as part of Belgore’s defence in his trial on allegations of laundering N450 million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Belgore, alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, for allegedly laundering the money in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

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The anti-graft agency claimed that the N450m was part of a larger sum of $115.01m, which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly doled out to influence the outcome of the polls.

Belgore, while testifying in his own defence, told the court that though he visited Fidelity Bank alongside Suleiman on March 26, 2015, on the invitation of the bank manager, they only signed for the N450m but did not take it away.

His counsel, Sofunde tendered in evidence a flash drive containing the CCTV clip of what transpired in the bank’s premises during the visit.

Responding to questions from Sofunde, Belgore reiterated that his only connection with the N450m was in his capacity as the Kwara State Coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign in 2015.

Belgore, while reading from the statements he made to the EFCC, said after leaving the bank, he called a meeting of all the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Ilorin and informed them about the money.

He said the sharing formula was determined at the meeting after which he forwarded a list of beneficiaries to Fidelity Bank for them to be paid by the bank.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, thereafter, admitted the flash drive in evidence, after the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said he would reserve for final address, his objection on the admissibility of the flash drive.

The trial judge adjourned further proceedings till March 5.

In the charges against them, the EFCC insisted that Belgore and Suleiman received N450m from Diezani and laundered same.

The anti-graft agency said they ought to have “reasonably known” that the N450m was part of proceeds of unlawful activities, adding that they handled the money without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Belgore and Suleiman, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Alleged N450m Laundering: Dele Belgore Testifies

EFCC To Arraign Dele Belgore
File Photo: Dele Belgore

 

 

A former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Mr Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), has opened his defense at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on allegations of laundering the sum of N450 million.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the Senior Advocate who took the witness box in his own defense admitted that he was invited to the bank to collect the cash but said he ended up leaving the bank without the money.

Belgore who also said he was the Kwara State Coordinator of then President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign, said he did not collect the N450m because after getting to the bank he realized that the money was too huge for his Toyota Prado jeep.

“I indicated to PW1 (bank manager) that I could not collect the money and I gave two reasons. First, I said this money was coming two days before the election; all the stakeholders and party members were aware of the arrival of the money and therefore, I did not consider it safe to move such a huge amount of money out of the bank in the middle of the night,” he said.

“The second reason was that I did not come prepared to receive and take away such a large amount of money, as I came only in my vehicle, a Toyota Prado jeep.

“As I said earlier, the heap of cash that I saw in the bank’s loading bay was at least three to four feet high. So, I told PW1 that if it took a bullion van to transport the cash from the Central Bank of Nigeria to Fidelity Bank, there was no way I would be able to evacuate those funds with my Toyota Prado.”

Mr Belgore said after a long argument between him, his co-defendant, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman and the bank manager, the bank manager told them to sign for the money and agreed to keep the money in the bank’s vault.

“After signing the document, I left the bank without the money. I did not take a penny out of the bank; I left the bank empty-handed,” he said.

Thereafter, his counsel, Mr Ebun Sofunde, asked the court for more time to enable him preview the CCTV footage of the events that took place in the banking hall on March 26, 2015, when the offense was allegedly committed.

The judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, then granted the plea and adjourned the case till February 28, 2019.

Belgore is being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly benefiting N450m from the sum of $115m which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly doled out to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

The EFCC had alleged that himself, and his co-defendant, a former Minister of National Planning, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, went to a branch of Fidelity Bank in Ilorin on March 26, 2015, to sign for and collect the N450m cash.

The anti-graft agency said they ought to have “reasonably known” that the N450m was part of proceeds of unlawful activities, adding that they handled the money without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

But the SAN and the professor have pleaded not guilty to the allegations

Court Dismisses Belgore’s Application Requesting Statements From EFCC

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed an application filed by a former Governorship Candidate in Kwara state, Dele Belgore asking the court to compel the EFCC to produce one of the statements made by him at the Commission’s office.

At the last sitting of the court, Belgore through his Lawyer, Yemi Akangbe had argued that the EFCC was suppressing evidence by not producing all the statements that his client made during investigation of the alleged crime.

He also argued that it is his constitutional right to have all the statements given to him to enable him prepare his defence and he urged the court to direct the prosecution to produce the statement.

But in his ruling on the issue on Wednesday, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, held that the application was an abuse of court process because he had already considered the issue in his no case submission and determined it when he ruled “that the 1st defendant has a case to answer” and therefore the issue cannot be considered again.

The judge further held that in the event that he was wrong, he would go ahead to consider the merit of the application.
He then took the view that the burden of proving the existence of any other statement other than what the EFCC tendered was on the 1st defendant and he had not discharged it, as he ought to have mentioned the person he made the statement to at the EFCC, the content and the circumstances in which it was made.
He further held that “I am of the view that pluralising statement does not automatically mean there is the existence of any other statement”.

After this ruling, the judge ordered the defendant to put in his defence, if he had any.

The trial could however not go on as the second defendant, Prof Abubakar Suleiman asked for an adjournment on the grounds that he had briefed a new lawyer to represent him.

But the prosecution opposed the request for an adjournment and urged the court to be mindful of the delay tactics of the defendants.

After considering the submissions, the trial judge elected to grant an adjournment to enable the 2nd defendant’s counsel to do the needful and file necessary applications in the case.

The trial was later adjourned to June 25 and 26.

Mr Belgore and the former minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman are standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos over allegations of laundering N450m.

The duo were on November 28, 2017, re-arraigned before the court by the anti-graft agency on an amended 9-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

In the nine amended charges, the EFCC alleged that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (said to be at large) conspired with Belgore and Suleiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.

They were also accused of handling the huge sum of money without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Alleged Money Laundering: Belgore Asks EFCC To Produce Vital Documents

Alleged Money Laundering: Belgore Asks EFCC To Produce Vital Documents
File photo

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore, has filed an application asking the court to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release one of the statements made by him at the commission’s office.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, Belgore’s counsel, Yemi Akangbe, argued that the EFCC was suppressing evidence by not producing all the statements that his client made during the investigation.

According to the lawyer, his client had January 27, 2017, made more than one statement, but the prosecution has only produced one of them.

He also argued that it was his client’s constitutional right to have all the statements given to him to enable him to prepare his defence, urging the court to direct the prosecution to produce the statements.

The prosecution, however, submitted that it did not have the statements but the defendant’s counsel urged the court to call for evidence to resolve the issue.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa consequently adjourned till May 23 and 24 for ruling on the application and continuation of trial.

He also directed the second defendant, Professor Abubakar Suleiman, who was not represented by counsel in court to inform his lawyers of the next adjourned date.

Mr Belgore and Professor Abubakar, a former Minister of National Planning, are standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos over allegations of laundering N450million.

The duo were re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency on November 28, 2017, before the court on an amended nine-charge bordering on the alleged offence.

They had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

In the amended charge, the EFCC alleged that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke (said to be at large), conspired with Belgore and Suleiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of unlawful act.

They were also accused of handling the huge sum of money without going through any financial institution, contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Alleged N450m Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Belgore

Alleged N450m Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Belgore
File photo

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore, and a former Minister of Planning, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, to open their defence in a N450million alleged fraud suit slammed on them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge gave the directive on Thursday while ruling on two separate applications for “no-case submission” filed by the two defendants who had argued that the EFCC had not successfully linked them to the offences for which they were charged.

In his ruling, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, held that after a careful study of the prosecution’s case, he had formed an opinion that the defendants should enter their defence.

“I have read the facts of the case at my disposal and I have formed an opinion that the first and second defendants have a case to answer.

“In the circumstances, I, therefore, overrule the no-case submissions. It is hereby dismissed. The defendants should proceed to open their defence,” the judge ruled.

After the ruling, Belgore’s lawyer, Seni Adio, drew the court’s attention to an application dated January 16, 2018, asking the EFCC to furnish him with the complete set of his client’s statements to the commission.

He alleged that part of the statements written by Belgore was still with the EFCC, saying the production of the documents was vital to his client’s defence.

In his response, the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, denied holding on to any of Belgore’s statements.

He, however, alleged that the application which his learned colleague claimed was just served on him in court was a ploy to prevent the defendants from opening their defence.

Oyedepo stated, “All the statements volunteered by the first defendant has been tendered in this case; we cannot be tendering them in piecemeal. All the statements have equally been frontloaded to the defence. We don’t have anything to produce.

“This issue was also raised in the first defendant’s no-case submission and we reacted to it. As far as we are concerned, the issue has been determined with the ruling just delivered.”

Justice Aikawa consequently directed the EFCC to file a formal response to the defendants’ application while further hearing in the case was adjourned till April 30.

The anti-graft agency had re-arraigned the defendants on November 28, 2017, before the court on an amended nine-count.

In the amended charges, the EFCC alleged that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke (said to be at large), conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.

The trio were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorised by law without going through the financial institutions.

Belgore, Sulaiman and Diezani were also alleged to have paid the sum of N50million to one, Sheriff Shagaya, without going through the banks.

They were equally accused of paying the sum of N10million to one Dr Emmanuel Onucheyo, a Resident Electoral Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kwara State, without going through any financial institution.

The EFCC had further accused the trio of paying N10million to CP Garba Salihu, in violation of sections 1(a), 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.

The defendants had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Court Orders Release Of Belgore’s International Passport

EFCC To Arraign Dele Belgore

 

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has ordered the release of the international passport of a Former Governorship Candidate in Kwara State, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore.

The court on Thursday ordered the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court to release the passport to enable Mr Belgore attend an international conference in Kenya.

Mr Belgore was arraigned on February 8, 2017, on five counts alongside a former Minister of National Planning, Prof of Political Science and International Relations, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman.

In one of the counts, the EFCC accused Belgore and Sulaiman of making two separate cash payments of N450m and N50m on March 27, 2015, without going through any financial institution.

The EFCC also claimed that the defendants paid the N50m to one Sheriff Shagaya.

The EFCC said the cash sums were above the lawful threshold permitted by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The EFCC also claimed that the defendants “ought to have reasonably known that the N450m and N50m formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and they were subsequently admitted to bail on self-recognisance.

One of the conditions for bail was that they should deposit their international passports with the court and they are not to travel without first obtaining the permission of the court.

Mr Belgore had written to the court to apply for the passport to enable him travel for the conference.

The EFCC did not object to the request and the court subsequently granted it

Justice Rilwan Aikawa also ordered that one he Passport must be returned to the court by April 4 failing which appropriate sanctions will be applied.

Alleged N450m Fraud: Belgore Loses Bid To Quash Charges

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public Fight
File Photo

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed an application by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore, challenging the money laundering charges made against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Belgore, through his lawyer, Mr. Ebun Shofunde had, at the proceedings of June 8, filed an application challenging the competence of the charges and urging the judge to quash the charges and set him free.

Mr Shofunde contended that the EFCC failed to attach an affidavit showing that it had concluded the investigation in the case before bringing the case to court. He asked the court to treat this failure as a fundamental breach of the Federal High Court Practice Direction and which renders the charges incompetent.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa has however upheld the EFCC’s argument that the failure to file an affidavit of investigation could not affect the substance of the charges. He held the EFCC has substantially complied with the provisions of Section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The judge also granted the applications by both Belgore and his co-defendant, a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman seeking the release of their passports to enable them to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The court granted the defendants’ requests to travel to the United Kingdom and India respectively between July 15 and August 8, 2017, to attend to their health.

The defendants were instructed to promptly return their passports to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar upon their return to the country.
Further proceedings in the case were adjourned until October 3, 2017.

The EFCC had on February 8, 2017, arraigned Belgore and Sulaiman for allegedly collecting N450m out the $115m allegedly doled out by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the 2015 general elections.

Court Adjourns Case Against Dele Belgore Till May 31

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned to May 31, 2017 the hearing of a motion seeking to terminate the charge against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore and a former Minister Of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Mr Belgore alongside Professor Abubakar Suleiman for alleged money laundering.

Both men were accused of conspiring to take possession of the sum of 450 million Naira, which the EFCC claims forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act.

The defence council filed the application seeking to terminate the proceedings on the grounds that the prosecution did not file an affidavit to show it had not completed investigation on the matter.

The prosecution, however, argued that if an application is brought after a plea has been taken as to the validity of a charge, it can be considered alongside the substantive matter.

After listening to both counsels, Justice Reliwan Aikawa agreed that the motion could be heard alongside the substantive matter, and therefore adjourned the matter to May 31.