By Jethro Ibileke
Alleged ill health of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Tuesday stalled the N700m fraud case levelled against him and four others.
The defendants, including former state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih; incumbent chairmen of the party, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, a former deputy governor, Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony, were supposed to have appeared before Justice M.G. Umar of the Federal High Court, over charges bordering on a N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Court had during its last sitting on Thursday, June 18, 2020, validated the corruption charges against the defendants, adjourning the case to July 7, 2020 for further hearing.
In suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016, the anti-graft agency had filed eight-count charge against the accused persons, alleging illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.
EFCC further accused the defendants 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.
At the hearing of the case on Tuesday, Counsel to the 1st defendant (Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu), Charles Edosomwan, SAN, told the Justice Muhammed Garba Umar that his client, Ize-Iyamu could not make it to the court as he was currently indisposed.
He prayed the Judge to allow him present the certificate of his ill health as certified by his medical doctor to the court.
Having listen to the Counsel, to Ize-Iyamu, Justice Garba adjourned the case to July 14, 2020 for hearing.