court ruling acquitting Jonathan’s ex-aide of N1.6bn fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the judgment of the Lagos federal high court that discharged and acquitted Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, a former senior special assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, and Joseph Iwuejo, a banker.

The anti-graft agency said it is studying the details of the judgment and will approach the appeal court for a review.

Mohammed Idris, the judge, had acquitted the duo of N1.6bn fraud levelled against them by the anti-corruption commission.

The EFCC had arraigned Dufada and Iwejuo before the court on 23-count charge bordering on money laundering, conspiracy, and concealment of crime proceeds.

The agency alleged that between June 1 and June 4, 2015, Dudafa procured Nna and Ebiwise Resources to conceal N150 million being the proceeds of crime.

The defendants allegedly conspired and laundered the fund through the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited; Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited; Rotato Interlink Service Limited; Pluto Property and Services Limited, and De-jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Limited.

But in his ruling, Idris had said he found it difficult to convict the ex-presidential aide and the banker because the EFCC failed to prove the charges against the defendants “beyond reasonable doubts”.

He held that the EFCC failed to call witnesses including Jonathan, one Somprei Omeibi, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), who were essential to the prosecution.

The judge also held that “the prosecution did its best, but it failed to conclude investigation before going to court.”

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