26th July, 2011
Former Works Minister, Dr Hassan Lawal, who is standing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja on an alleged money laundering charge involving N75.5 billion, has protested his trial through a preliminary objection filed by his lawyers led by Mr. Ibrahim Ishiaku, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The former minister and eight others standing trial with him had filed applications for the quashing of the charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ishiaku informed the court on Tuesday that the defence team has agreed to seek for an adjournment to argue the applications as some of the applications were not listed for hearing.
Prosecution counsel, Mr. Wahab Shittu, said he was not part of the decision to seek for adjournment, but opted not to oppose to the application for adjournment if that will enable the consolidation of the whole applications.
Hassan and the other accused persons have been admitted to bail by the court in the sum of N50 million each and a surety in like sum, who must have landed property in Abuja and that the title documents to the property must be deposited with the registrar of the court.
The court further ordered the accused persons to deposit their passports with the registrar of the court and directed that they should not travel out of the country without the court’s permission.
The presiding judge, Justice Adamu Bello adjourned the matter till 5 October to hear the preliminary objections.
By Nnamdi Felix / Abuja