EFCC to appeal court ruling acquitting Jonathan’s former aide
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Thursday said it will appeal the judgment of the Lagos federal high court that discharged and acquitted senior special assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a banker Joseph Iwuejo over N1.6bn fraud.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has vowed to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos that discharged and acquitted a former Senior Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, and a banker, Joseph Iwuejo, who were charged with N1.6bn fraud,” EFCC said in a statement on Thursday.
“Dudafa and Iwuejo were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 23-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and concealment of proceeds of crime on June 11, 2013.”
Although Judge Mohammed Idris initially dismissed the defendants no-case submission in August 2018, he, however, said it is difficult to convict Dudafa and Iwuejo because the antigraft body failed to prove the charges against them beyond reasonable doubt.
He said EFCC failed to call significant witnesses, including Jonathan, one Somprei Omeibi, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor and former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who were linked to the proving of the case.
Idris said the failure of the witnesses to testify in the case was fatal to the prosecution. He said the case was built on suspicion which is not substantial enough for prosecution.
He, therefore, dismissed the entire 22 counts against the defendants, discharged and acquitted them.
The anti-graft agency, however, insisted it is “studying the details of the judgment and will approach the appeal court for a review.”
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