Money laundering: Ize-Iyamu, PDP chiefs have case to answer

Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Osagie Ize-Iyamu money laundering trial goes on
Osagie Ize-Iyamu: money laundering trial to go on

By Jethro Ibileke/ Benin

The trial of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others for money laundering will continue, a Federal High Court in Benin City ruled today.

Iyamu was the PDP governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship when he committed the alleged offence.

He is on trial, along with four other PDP chiefs.

Prosecuting is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The other defendants are Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, former PDP chairman in Edo State, Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.

The defendants were alleged to have sometime in March 2015 in Benin City directly taken possession of the sum of N700 million without any contract award.

EFCC contends that the money was part of proceeds of an unlawful act and violated the 2011 Money Laundering law.

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All the men pleaded not guilty to the charge, setting the stage for their trial.

However, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, counsel to Ize-Iyamu challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the matter.

He anchored the challenge on the grounds that the charge filed against the defendants were based on election matter.

He argued that the appropriate Court to try electoral matter was the Magistrate or High Court of the state.

In his ruling today, Justice M. G Umar said the matter before the Court was money laundering which the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over and therefore dismissed their application.

He berated the defendants for filing the motion which he said was intended to waste the time of the Court.

Justice Umar adjourned the case till 18 May 2021 for further hearing.

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