Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: Court Adjourns NBA President’s Trial till Feb 11


A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, adjourned till February 11 the continuation of the trial of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Paul Usoro charged with alleged N1.4 billion fraud.

Usoro is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on 10 counts bordering on the offence.

He was first arraigned before Justice Muslim Hassan in December 2018, but the case was re-assigned to Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges before Hasssan.

He also also maintained his not guilty plea before Aikawa, and was granted bail.

The continuation of trial, which was earlier fixed for Monday, has now been further adjourned to February 11, as Justice Aikawa did not sit.

Trial will resume on the next date.

Also mentioned in the charge is the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, who is described as being “currently constitutionally immune from prosecution”.

Others mentioned are: the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; Accountant-General of Akwa Ibom State, Mfon Udomah; the Akwa Ibom Attorney-General, Uwemedimo Nwoko and Margaret Ukpe.

The aforementioned names were described in the charge as being at large.

In the charge marked FHC/418c/18, the anti-graft agency alleged that the defendant committed the offence on May 14, 2016.

Usoro was alleged to have conspired with others to commit the offence within the jurisdiction of the court.

The commission said that the N1.4 billion belonged to the Akwa Ibom State Government.

The defendant was alleged to have conspired to convert the said sum, which he reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity.

The prosecution said that the unlawful activity include criminal breach of trust which contravenes the provisions of section 15 (2), 15(3), and 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011. (NAN}