27th May, 2019
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has discharged and acquitted, Mr Robert Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan on the $40m fraud charges filed against him by the Federal government.
In a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Dimgba discharged the defendant from the two charges on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its claim of money laundering against the defendant.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had filed a suit against Mr Azibaola and his company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited on two charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of $40m.
He was alleged to have received the said sum from the detained former National Security Adviser retired colonel, Sambo Dasuki, without any contract agreement.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Justice Dimgba held that the prosecution in handling its case did not call nor charge the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who is very central in the government’s case alongside Mr Azibaola.
Justice Dimgba further noted that contrary to the position of the prosecution, the monies released to the defendants was to tackle insecurity challenges in the Niger Delta within the said period.
Consequently, the court dismissed the charge and acquitted Azibaola from the charge.
The court had on March 29, 2018, struck out seven out of an initial nine charges which the EFCC preferred against Aziboala, his wife, Stella, and their firm.
In striking out the suit, the court discharged and acquitted Mrs Stella Aziboala on the premise that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie criminal charge against her.