Wednesday 16th August, 2017
Translate Language:::
Share

Judge asserts jurisdiction on N30m Diezani's bribe suit

Judge asserts jurisdiction on N30m Diezani's bribe suit

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos presided over by Jus­tice Mo-hammed Idris on Wednesday made a declara­tion that it has jurisdiction to try an official of the Inde­pendent Na-tional Electoral Commission (INEC), Chris­tian Nwosu, whom the Eco­nomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ac­cused of collecting a sum to the tune of N30 million from the immediate past Pe­troleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, so as to compromise the 2015 General Election.
It would be recalled that Nwosu had agreed to receiv­ing the said sum through a plea bargain arrangement he had with the Commission.
But developments took a new dimension sequel to Jus­tice Idris’ rejection of the plea bargain arrangement.
This prompted the EFCC to re-arraign Nwosu togeth­er with another official of INEC, Tijani Bashir, on an amended charge. They, how­ever, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After the re-arraignment of the duo, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the judge to consid-er transferring the case file to the Chief Judge of the Feder­al High Court for re-assign­ment to another judge.
Oyedepo said: “It is trite that a judge who has heard and rejected a plea bargain agreement of a defendant can no longer preside over the matter in the event that the defendant decide to change his plea.
“Though the commis­sion has full confidence in the ability of the judge to handle the case, it will be in the interest of justice to allow another judge take over the matter in line with the pro­visions of Section 270(15) of the Administration of Crimi­nal Justice Act (ACJA).”
But in his application, Nwosu through his counsel, Victor Opara prayed Jus-tice Idris to throw out the request made by the Commission and continue to handle the matter.
 

SHARE ON: