N466m Polaris Bank fraud: Court to rule on jurisdiction

Olisa Metuh with EFCC operatives

EFCC operatives

Justice P. Mallong of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has fixed March 29, 2019 to rule on an application filed by Rabiu Aliko Lawal, seeking for the transfer of his N466, 000, 000 (Six Hundred and Sisty Six Million Naira) fraud case to a State High Court.

Lawal, who is the fourth defendant, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, along with Bashir Abdullahi Mohammed, Oche Ogenyi, Adefila Taofile Kayode and Mmadu Mathew Onyekachi for defrauding Polaris Bank (formerly Skye Bank) of N466 million.

His counsel, M.K. Aondoakaa, SAN, on March 19, 2019 moved the application on behalf of his client, arguing that the charges were similar to the one before Justice Mohammed Tukur of a Kaduna State High Court, which according to him, has the jurisdiction to entertain the case.

“The State High Court has the jurisdiction to hear money laundering matters, and there is another charge pending at a State High Court,” he said.

Prosecuting Counsel, J. Saidi, however, opposed the application arguing that, cases are not tried on convenience of parties, but “based on the jurisdiction of the court as the law provides”.

While urging the court not to grant the application, Saidi, said, “What the defendants seek is their convenience.”

The trial judge thereafter, adjourned to March 29, 2019 to rule on the application.