Money Laundering: Atiku’s Lawyer, Brother get new trial date

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Further trial of Mr. Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is being prosecuted over alleged money laundering to the tune of $2 million USD, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, has been adjourned till December 7, 2020.

The adjournment was at the instance of Uyiekpen’s brother, Erhunse, who is also being tried on the same allegations alongside his brother, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed trial of the Giwa-Osagie, today, their lawyer, Oluwafemi Anjorin, told the court that a letter has been written to the court for an adjournment, due to the absence of the second defendant,   Erhunse, whom he said was indisposed.

Lawyer to the EFCC, Abbas Mohammed, did not opposed to the defendants’ request for adjournment.

Consequently, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, adjourned the matter till December 7, 2020, for continuation of defendants’ trial.

Uyiepken, a senior counsel in Africa Law Practices (ALP) and his younger brother, Erhunse, are being tried before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly laundered the sum of $2 million USD.

They were first arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on August 14, 2019, during the court long vacation on three counts charge of conspiracy and money.

The offences they had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Upon resumption from the vacation, they were rearraigned before Justice Chuka Obiozor, on the same three counts charge.

However, when their trial was about to commenced before Justice Obiozor, their lawyers, Ahmed Raji and Norrison Quakers, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), brought and application before the court for the consolidation of the charge with that of Atiku’s son-in-law, Abdullahi Babalele, who is being tried before Justice Aneke’s court.

Babalele is standing trial before Justice Aneke, for allegedly laundered the sum of $140, 000 USD.

Laywers to Giwa-Osagies’ had told Justice Obiozor that a letter had been written to the Court’s Chief Registrar, for the consolidation of the charge with Babalele.

After their plea was taken, Justice Obiozor, returned the case file to the court’s registry and it was subsequently reassigned to Justice Aneke.

Meanwhile, upon reassignment of the case file Justice Aneke, the judge fixed January 14, 2020, for the rearraignment of Giwa Osagies’ brothers.

The EFCC in a charge numbered number FHC/L/283c/19, read had alleged that Uyiekpen, a senior lawyer in the law firm of Africa Law Practices and his brother, Erhunse, were alleged to have on February 12, 2019, conspired among themselves and make cash payment of the sum of $2 million USD, without going through financial institutions.

Uyiekpen was alleged to have procure his brother, Erhunse, to make the cash payment of the said sum without recourse to financial institutions.

The offences according to the prosecuting agency, EFCC, contravened 18(c), 18(a), 1(a), 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16, 16(2)(b)16(2)(b) of the same Act.

The two defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges and they have been granted bail in various terms.

The count one of the charges against the Osagie’s brothers read: “that you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie and Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, sometimes in February, 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act”.

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