THE proposed arraignment of the current President of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), who was charged with an alleged N1.4bn fraud, has been shifted till December 28 by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The arraignment was stalled at the instance of Usoro who through his counsels informed the court he had not been served with the charge sheet.
Usoro was represented in court on Monday by a former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who led 12 other Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Olanipekun said his client came to court on his own despite not being served with the charge sheet, adding that he was ready to accept the service of the charge sheet in the courtroom.
However, the prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said he was not in a position to serve the charge sheet on Usoro, as the charge sheet was with the EFCC investigative office.
While shifting the arraignment till December 18, Justice Muslim Hassan directed the EFCC to ensure the service of the charge sheet on Usoro.
Tribune Onlinerecalls that Usoro was charged before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The charge sheet, marked FHC/418c/18, was filed before Justice Muslim Hassan.
According to the EFCC, Usoro converted and laundered the money in connivance with the Governor of his state, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
Emmanuel was however not listed as a defendant in the charge, as the EFCC indicated that he is “currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution.”
Also mentioned in the body of the charges were one Nsikan Nkan, described as Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State; one Mfon Udomah, described as the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State; one Uwemedimo Nwoko, described as the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; and Margaret Ukpe, all of whom were said to be at large.
The EFCC claimed that Usoro in connivance with the others mentioned conspired among themselves to commit the offence sometime in 2015 “within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”
The anti-graft agency claimed that the N1.4bn allegedly converted and laundered by the defendants belonged to the Akwa Ibom State Government.