Alleged N700m fraud: Judge’s absence stalls Ize-Iyamu, four defendants’ trial

Alleged N700m fraud: Judge’s absence stalls Ize-Iyamu, four defendants’ trial

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The Federal High Court sitting in Benin, on Thursday adjourned the trial of the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the September 19, Edo governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four defendants on alleged N700 million fraud, till July 7, 2020.

PASTOR OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU

Mr Ize-Iyamu and four other defendants were supposed to appear on Thursday before Justice Garba Umar over the alleged N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court had, in its last sitting in Benin on June 18, validated the corruption charges against the defendants and adjourned the case to July 2, for further hearing.

The four other defendants in the suit include former Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dan Orbih; the State chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi; former Deputy Governor of Edo State Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony.

The anti-graft agency, in Suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016, had filed eight count charges against the accused persons bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general elections.

The EFCC further accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March, 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.

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There was no court sitting, but it was observed that some of the defendants and counsels were around the premises.

Speaking to journalists, counsel to Tony Aziegbemi, Pascal Ugbomhe, said the case had been adjourned till July 7.

He did not specify the reason why it was adjourned, but he said, “it is a normal occurrence in court duties. It’s nothing unusual to adjourn matters.

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