Court Fixes May 27 for Judgment in Jonathan’s Cousin’s Alleged $40m Fraud Trial

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Thursday, announced that judgment would be delivered in the money laundering charge filed against Robert Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Justice Dimgba fixed the date shortly after lawyers to both the prosecution and defense adopted their final briefs of argument.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) is prosecuting Azibaola and his company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $40m.

He was alleged to have received the said sum from the detained former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, (rtd), without any contract agreement.

While the prosecution led by Sylvanus Tahir, closed its case against the defendants on January 23, 2017, after calling ten witnesses, the defendants led by Chief Chris Uche SAN, closed their own case on February 6 after the 1st defendant and one Iyeryfama Jaja, testified for the defendants.

EFCC had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/ 113/2016, alleged that Aziboala had while being the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) and a signatory to the Zenith Bank account of One Plus Holdings Nig Ltd, on or about September 8, 2014, took possession and converted the $39, 999, 958 out of the $40million, and transferred same to the domiciliary account of One Plus Holdings Nig Ltd with Zenith Bank Plc Account No. 5070365750.

The court had on March 29, 2018, struck out seven out of an initial nine-count charge the EFCC preferred against Aziboala, his wife, Stella, and their firm.

The court discharged and acquitted Aziboala’s wife on the premise that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie criminal charge against her.