The Federal High Court in Benin-city, Edo State, has struck out the charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against an Administrative Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Delta State, Uluocha Obi Brown, and a legal practitioner and former President, Rotary Club, Benin-city, Percy Okojie.
The defendants had earlier been arraigned for an alleged N111.5 million scam on May 11, 2017, before Justice P.I. Ajaku of the Federal High Court in Benin-city, Edo State on an eight-count amended charge filed by the EFCC, which they had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, the case was dismissed by Justice S. M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Benin-city, who had become the presiding Judge following the transfer of Justice P.I. Ajaku.
Counsel to the defendants, ldemudia Osifo and P.E Ebuehi, prayed that the accused persons be discharged in line with the provisions of Section 351 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
After hearing the applications of their counsel, the court led by Justice Shuaibu struck out the charge against Uluocha Obi Brown and Percy Okojie, and discharged them accordingly, thereby putting an end to the case.
A certified true copy of the court order with charge number FHC/B/31/2017 and signed by the Court’s Registrar, Mrs. Oyabure Priscilla, which was made available to journalists read: “Upon the oral application made by Idemudia Osifo Esq. February 15, 2023, praying the Honourable Court to dismiss this charge for want of diligent prosecution.
And after hearing ldemudia Esq, Osifo, counsel for the first accused person, applying that the charge be dismissed and the accused persons discharged in line with the provisions of Section 351 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, and P.E Ebuehi, counsel for the second accused person aligned himself with the submissions of counsel to the first accused person. The prosecution counsel was absent from court, and no reason given for his absence.”
The Court declared: “It is hereby ordered as follows: That this charge is hereby struck out and the accused persons are hereby discharged in line with the provisions of Section 351 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.”