Court of Appeal orders Igbinedion’s retrial over money laundering
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.
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