The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others, will appear for re-arraignment before Hon. Justice G. M. Umar on Thursday, February 13, 2020, over a N700 million election-related fraud case preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The case file is at Court 1, Federal High Court Benin City. Ize-Iyamu and the four other accused persons were earlier arraigned in 2018 before Hon. Justice P. I. Ajoku. Due to the transfer of the Judge the trail could go on.
The EFCC had filed charges against the accused persons bordering on illegal receipt of public funds for the purpose of 2015 general election, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
A reliable source at the court, who pleaded not to be named, said Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the four others are to be re-arraigned on the 13th of February, 2020.
“The court case could not go on because the judge who handled the matter earlier was transferred. Now, a new judge, Hon. Justice M. G. Umar, has taken over the case, which would come on the stated date.”
Other accused persons in the case are the Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, a former deputy governor, Mr. Lucky Imasuen; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Tony Azegbemi; and one Efe Anthony.
The EFCC 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 EFCC also said the defendants allegedly made huge cash payments of various amounts to several people without going through a financial institution.