Adibe Emenyonu in Benin
A Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, thursday, adjourned hearing on corruption charges against a governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The other four defendants in the suit are former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Lucky Imasuen; immediate past chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih; current state Chairman of PDP, Mr. Tony Aziegbemi; and Efe Erimuoghae.
During the hearing, the presiding Judge, Justice M. G. Umar ruled that the charges filed by the EFCC against the defendants were not defective.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Francis Jibro, told the court that the matter was for ruling on the competence of the eight-count charges preferred against the defendants, who had at the court’s last sitting challenged the charges because they contained the name of Chief Tony Anenih, who is now deceased.
After the ruling, counsel to the first defendant, Mr. Charles Edosomwan (SAN), told the court that he has filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
“In spite of the ruling, we have a motion dated June 1, 2020, challenging the jurisdiction of this honourable court to entertain proceedings,” he said. The same position was canvassed by counsels to the other defendants.
However, Jibro told the court that based on the ruling of the court which found the charges not defective, the next thing was for the defendants to take their pleas.
Mr. Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), who is counsel to Dan Orbih said he was not challenging the ruling of the court but the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to hear the matter.
Justice Umar adjourned the case to July 2.