The N700 million money laundering suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dr Tony Aziegbemi and four others suffered a setback as Justice Umar Garba Umar of the Federal High Court, Benin adjourned the case to October 15 for further hearing.
The three other defendants in the suit are the South-South PDP zonal vice-chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, former Edo State deputy governor Lucky Imasuen and Efe Anthony.
Ize-Iyamu, the first defendant who couldn’t put in an appearance at the last sitting on July 7 over ill health, however, took time off his busy schedule and appeared in court as early as 9:30 am waiting for the presiding judge to take his seat.
Counsel to the defendants had earlier filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit but the EFCC prosecution counsel, Mr Ahmed Imoovba pleaded with the court by way of a motion to seek an extension of time to file their reply to the objection.
After listening carefully to the various counsels, Justice Umar ordered them to file whatever is needed to be filed within seven days as the court will soon embark on a vacation.
In suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016, the anti-graft agency filed an eight-count charge against the accused person on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.
Besides, the defendants are also accused of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.
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