Court Acquits Jonathan’s Cousin, Azibaola, of $40m Fraud Charges
By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday, discharged and acquitted, Robert Azibaola, a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan of the $40m fraud charges filed against him by the Federal Government.
Justice Dimgba, in a judgment delivered, discharged the defendant from the two count charge on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its claim of money laundering against the defendant.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had slammed Azibaola and his company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited, 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.
However, delivering judgment in the suit, Justice Dimgba, held that the prosecution in handling its case did not call nor charge former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who is very central in the government’s case along with Azibaola.
Justice Dimgba further noted that contrary to the position of the prosecution, the monies released to the defendants was to tackle insecurity challenge in the Niger Delta within the said period.
Consequently, the court dismissed the charge and acquitted Azibaola of the charge.
It would be recalled that 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.