Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:36 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Tuesday appeared before Justice Umar Garba of the Federal High Court in Benin, over the N700 million money laundering suit filed against him and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Other defendants in the suit are former Chairman of Edo State PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, State PDP Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Anthony.
Recall that the EFCC, an anti-graft agency in Suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 had filed an eight-count charge against the accused person on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.
The EFCC further accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.
The trial Judge had during the last adjournment (Monday, 7 July), threatened to invalidate the bail granted to Ize-Iyamu, following the inability to appear in court because of his alleged ill health.
However, the APC standard-bearer appeared in court as early as 9:30am on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, waiting for the presiding judge to take his seat.
The defendants Counsel had earlier filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.
But on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the EFCC Prosecution Counsel, Ahmed Imoovba, pleaded with the court by way of motion to seek an extension of time to file their reply to the objection.
Having listened careful to the various Counsels, Justice Garb, asked them to file whatever the have to file within seven days as the court will soon embark on vacation.
He thereafter adjourned the case to October 15, 2020, for further hearings.