Court adjourns corruption trial of Ize-Iyamu, four others

Court adjourns corruption trial of Ize-Iyamu, four others

The alleged corruption trial of Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others has been adjourned till January 14, 2021.

Ize-Iyamu was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State in 2016 and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 2020 governorship election in the state.

Ize-Iyamu  alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State; Chief Dan Orbih, former PDP chairman in the state; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged NN700 million fraud.

They were first arraigned before Justice P. I. Ajoku on an eight count charge bordering on money laundering on May 24, 2018.

The defendants were alleged to have sometime in March 2015, in Benin City, directly taken possession of the sum of N700 million without any contract award which sum was allegedly part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption.

When the matter came up today, October 15, before a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State,, counsel to the first defendant, Charles Edosomwan (SAN), informed the court that he has filed a motion challenging its jurisdiction on the grounds that the charge filed against the defendants are based on election matters.

According to him, the appropriate court to try electoral matter was the Magistrate Court or  High Court   of the state. The same argument was canvassed by the counsel to the other defendants.

However, the prosecuting counsel, Francis A.Jirbo countered the argument with the submission that the information before the court is a money laundering charge for which the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction..

After listening to both counsel, Justice M. G. Umar adjourned the case to January 20, 2021 for ruling.

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