Thursday 29 August 2019

[BREAKING] N1.6bn fraud: Court frees Jonathan’s ex-aide, banker

The Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged and acquitted a former Senior

Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a banker, Joseph Iwuejo, who were charged with N1.6bn fraud.

The court, in a judgment by Justice Mohammed Idris, said it found it difficult to convict the ex-presidential aide and the banker because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to prove the charges against them beyond reasonable doubts.

The judge held that the EFCC failed to call vital witnesses, including Jonathan, one Somprei Omeibi, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who were essential to the proving of the case.

Justice Idris said the failure of the EFCC to call Jonathan, Omeibi, CBN governor, and Dasuki to testify in the case was fatal to the case of the prosecution.

While saying that money laundering was difficult to prove, the judge said the prosecution tried its best to prove the case, but its best did not measure up to the expected minimum requirement to secure a conviction.

Justice Idris said the case of the EFCC was built on suspicion and suspicion, no matter how strong, could not be used to secure a conviction.

He held that the EFCC did not conclude an investigation before rushing to court, thereby living loopholes.

He dismissed the entire 22 counts against Dudafa and Iwuejo, discharged and acquitted them.

The defendants had been standing trial since 2016.

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