Court acquits Atiku’s son in law, Babalele of fraud charges
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, acquitted Abdullahi Babalele, son-in-law to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of a two-count charge of laundering $140,000.
Aneke quashed the charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the grounds that it was instituted in the wrong venue.
He declared that the charge against the defendant should not have been filed in Lagos when the offence was allegedly committed in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Justice Aneke relied on the Supreme Court decision in a case between the EFCC and Mohammed Dele Belgore on territorial jurisdiction following Babalele arraignment in 2018 and re-arraignment on October 8, 2019.
The EFFC accused Babalele, who pleaded not guilty on each occasion, of giving former President Olusegun Obasanjo $140,000 on the orders of Atiku, who contested for President in 2019.
When trial commenced the prosecution called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020.
At the last hearing on December 7, Babalele’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed a no-case submission and prayed the court to dismiss the charge.
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