Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has reserved ruling on the no-case submission filed and agued by ex- NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro SAN, to 10th of June.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa fixed the date after hearing the arguments of both counsels for the prosecution and defendant.
At the resumed of proceeding today, Effiong O Effiong SAN led three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria including Sina Sofola, Bode Olanipekun and Chukwuka Ikwuazom appeared for the embattled ex NBA President.
Arguing the no-case submission filed on the 25th of February, Effiong submitted that the prosecution only called two witnesses and closed the case because they know that they don’t have a case against the defendants.
He submitted that pw1 Jacinta Akpabio a staff of Fidelity Bank uyo stated in her testimony that the request by the Akwa-Ibom state government for the sum of N700million could not be met due to insufficient funds. But she said that only N400million was released to the state’s representative.
While pw2 Abdulrahman Rabo stated that he gathered from pw1 that the sum of N700m was released to the representative of the Akwa-Ibom state government.
Effiong urged the court to allow the no-case submission because the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants that calls for the defendant’s explanation.
But in a swift reaction counsel to the EFCC Uduak Kufre informed the court of his counter-affidavit filed in opposition to the application of the defendant.
Uduak urged to dismiss the no-case submission in view of the overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution and the exhibits admitted in evidence and ordered the defendant to entered his defence.
Justice Aikawa reserved the ruling on the no-case submission till the 10th of June.
EFCC had on the 18th of February closed its case after two witnesses testimony
Usoro was arraigned for the alleged offence on December 18, 2018, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.
He was re-arraigned, on March 1, 2019, on a 10-count charge bordering on laundering money for some Akwa Ibom State government officials to the tune of N1.4 billion.
One of the counts against the defendant reads: “That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large), sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, conspired to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of N1,410,000,000,000 property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.”
Court to rule