Jonathan’s ex-aide seeks to reverse firm’s guilty plea
A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard a motion seeking to set aside the guilty plea of four firms allegedlyused to launder $15.5 million belonging to a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
A lawyer, Amajuoyi Azubuike Briggs, who is standing trial, alongside Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan and one, Adedamola Bolodeoku, filed the motion.
They were alleged to have concealed the total sum of $15,591,700.00, which they knew formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, through various banks in Nigeria.
The four firms which pleaded guilty to laundering the money upon their arraignment alongside the trio, are Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company, pleaded guilty through their representatives.
They were represented by Friday Davies, Agbor Baro, Dioghowori Frederick and Taiwo Ebenezer. The four firms were later convicted on the alleged offence, following the review of the facts of the case by the prosecution.
Dissatisfied, Dudafa and Briggs filed separate applications seeking to reverse the plea at the court. The applications were however, dismissed by the trial judge, Babs Kuewumi on the ground that the accused persons at the Court of Appeal were canvassing the same issues.
The Court of Appeal in its judgment on June 15, 2017, directed the lower court to hear Briggs’ motion seeking to reverse the firm’s plea.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the Economic and Fionancial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, sought the court’s permission to continue with the examination-in-chief of the first prosecution witness.
The request was however opposed to by the defence counsels.
The court has reserved ruling on the motion while hearing of other pending applications has been fixed for November 22.
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