Tuesday, December 8, 2020 7:19 am
A Federal High court sitting in Ikoyi South West Nigeria, on Monday, 7 December, adjourned the ruling on the no- case submission filed by Abdullahi Babalele the son-in-law of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is standing trial on offence of money laundering and conspiracy to the tune of $140,000.
The presiding Judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, adjourned the ruling till 21 December, after Babalele’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN and the EFCC prosecuting counsel, Usman Buhari, adopted their respective final written addresses.
Babalele is standing trial on a two-count charge of money laundering to the tune of $140,000.00.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February, 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by the Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(C) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge proferred against him, thereby prompting his trial.
During the trial, the prosecutor called two witnesses and closed its case on 25. November 2020, after several documents were tendered and admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.
Today, counsel to the defendant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, urged the court to uphold the defendant’s no-case submission dated 27 November 2020 urging the court to hold that the defendant “has no case to answer at all that will warrant him been called upon to enter any defence in the case.”
Ozekhome, in the application, also argued that the prosecution had not lent any credible evidence in support of the counts in the charge preferred against his client.
Consequently,he prayed the court to hold that “no prima facie case has been established in any way or manner against the defendant” and also urged the court to discharge him as prayed.
However, the prosecuting counsel, Usman Buhari, in his response, urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s no-case submission.
Buhari argued that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the offence and, therefore, “has a case to answer.”
Justice Aneke, after listening to both parties, adjourned till December 21, 2020 for ruling on the defendant’s no-case submission.