The Federal High Court sitting in Kano, on Monday, struck out a no-case submission filed by the former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau, challenging his alleged N950 million money laundering trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), arraigned Shekarau on May 24, 2018, alongside former Foreign Affairs Minister, Aminu Wali and one Mansur Ahmad, on six counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N950 million.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Lewis Allagoa, held that the anti-graft agency has been able to establish a case against the defendants, saying they must defend themselves.
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“I have considered evidence by the prosecution against the defendants, it is sufficient that they have case to answer and defend themselves,” he said.
Allagoa adjourned the matter until November 18 and 19, for the defence to open its case.
Earlier, counsels to Shekarau and the two others, Dauda Abdulrahman and Abdul Adamu, had on July 9, filed a no case submission.
Adamu said the EFCC failed to present a prima facie case to warrant the defendants entering defense, urging the court to discharge his clients.
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However, counsel to the agency, Johnson Ojogbane, had earlier told the court that the defendants, between March 26 and 27, 2015, conspired among themselves and received the said amount without going through any bank.
He said that the money was issued to the defendants by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act and Section 15(1) of money laundering Act.
The defendants had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Shekarau and the two other defendants were earlier granted bail in the sum of N100 million each, with two reliable sureties in like sum.
During the course of trial, the prosecution called four witnesses to establish its case before closing it on May 8.