Money laundering: EFCC Closes Case On Atiku’s Lawyer
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today, closed its case against Mr. Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to the former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, who are standing trial before a Lagos Federal High Court, for allegedly laundering their sum of $2 million USD.
Uhiekpen, a senior lawyer in the law firm of Africa Law Practices (ALP) and his brother, Erhunse were brought before the court presided over by Justice Cbukwujekwu Aneke, on three counts charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
The offences, according to the 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 Giwa-Osagies had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
During their trial, the prosecution had called its witnesses and tendered several documentary evidence, which were admitted by the court.
At the resumed trial of the defendants today, EFCC counsel, Uduak Kufre told Justice Aneke, that his Commission has closed its case against the Giwa-Osagies.
Following the submission made by the prosecutor, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Norrison I. Quakers (SAN), made oral application for ‘no-case-submission’, on behalf of his clients.
Quakers (SAN) whoever, told the court that he application for the ‘no-case-submission’ would be filed today same will be served on the prosecution.
He therefore urged the court for a short date, for the adoption of written addresses on the application.
By the consent of the prosecutor and defendants’ counsel, Justice Aneke, adjourned the matter till January 15, for adoption of the written addresses on the ‘no-case-submission’.
The senior counsel in Africa Law Practices (ALP) Uyiekpen and his younger brother, Erhunse, were first arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo on August 14, 2019, during the court long vacation on three counts charge.
The offences they had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Upon resumption from the vacation, their case filed was reassigned to the court presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor, were their plea was retaken 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.
In the charge, Uyiekpen, was alleged to have procure his brother, Erhunse, to make the cash payment of the said sum without recourse to financial institutions.
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”.