BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
The case between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) woman leader, Dr. Aisosa Amadasun and four others – Adama Osabuohien, Adam Osabuohien, Prince Stephen Alao, Dove Momodu and Mallam Ali Sulayman – has been adjourned to Tuesday, November 14.
The presiding Judge, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, of the Criminal Court 5 Division of the Benin High Court, on Friday morning adjourned ruling on whether the EFCC has power to press charges against the second accused person, Mallam Ali Sulayman, under the ICPC Act.
Counsel to the second. defendant, Barr. Mowoe Ivan Okoro, while citing relevant sections of the law, argued that the anti-graft agency has no power to press criminal charges against the accused person but could only investigate, receive petitions and make a recommendation to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) or the Attorney General of the State.
“On behalf of the second defendant, we did file a notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to profer charge against the second accused person with regards to count 1 which is conspiracy under the financial crime act and our own position is that, they do not have prosecutorial power to so do.
“We have made our argument and it is now left for the court to rule. We are banking on section 3 and section 10a of the Financial Crime Act an Act pursuant in which they were charged to court both the 2000 Act and the 2003 Act. Anywhere they want to go, they do not have the prosecutorial power,” Barrister Okoro submitted.
He stressed that the EFCC failed to follow due process and therefore the case brought before the court should be thrown out.
Counsel to the EFCC, Barr. Cosmas Obeta Ugwu said he was satisfied with the proceedings.
The five accused were earlier docked for allegedly using their offices while serving as board members of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to award contracts to their cronies after collecting N1.5 billion from them.
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN