Court of Ap­peal or­ders Ig­bine­dion’s re­trial over money laun­der­ing

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Vin­cent Egun­yanga, Benin

The court of Ap­peal in Benin, Edo State, has ruled that for­mer gover­nor of the state, Lucky Ig­bine­dion, should again face trial at the Federal High Court over money laun­der­ing, mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds and abuse of of­fice.

A panel of three jus­tices led by Jus­tice He­len M. Ogun­wun­miju ar­rived at the unan­i­mous de­ci­sion Wed­nes­day. The other judges are Jus­tice M. M. Saulawa and Jus­tice A. O. Lokulo-Sodipe.

The EFCC had ap­proached the Court of Ap­peal af­ter the judg­ment of Jus­tice Adamu Hobon, then of the Federal High Court, Benin, who dis­missed an ear­lier charge of money laun­der­ing filed against the for­mer gover­nor. The ap­pel­late court in up­hold­ing the ap­peal of the EFCC ruled that there was no agree­ment be­tween Ig­bine­dion and the EFCC that he would not face trial on fresh al­le­ga­tions and rev­e­la­tions and there­fore ruled that Ig­bine­dion re­turns to the High Court to face fresh trial.

The EFCC had on Fe­bru­ary 8, 2011 charged the for­mer gover­nor and six oth­ers be­fore a Federal High Court in Benin on a 66-count charge. Oth­ers charged along with him were his brother, Michael Ig­bine­dion, Patrick Eboigbodin and four com­pa­nies -Gava Cor­po­ra­tion Limited, Rom­rig Nigeria Limited, PMI Se­cu­ri­ties Com­pany Limited and PML (Nigeria) Limited. The charge borders on money laun­der­ing, il­le­gal trans­fer of pub­lic funds to pri­vate ac­counts and abuse of of­fice when Ig­bine­dion was gover­nor be­tween 1997 and 2007.

PHOTO

From left: For­mer Gover­nor of Borno, Al­haji Mo­hammed Goni; Has­san Bala Us­man; For­mer na­tional chair­man of PDP, Sen. Ah­madu Ali and for­mer gover­nor of Kaduna State, Al­haji Balarabe Musa, at the pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of Al­haji Bala­rade Musa’s bi­og­ra­phy in Abuja yes­ter­day. NAN

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