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$15.5m: EFCC opposes Ozekhome’s appearance for firms linked to Jonathan



$15.5m: EFCC opposes Ozekhome’s appearance for firms linked to Jonathan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday expressed its opposition to the appearance of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) for the four firms that were convicted by Justice Babs Kuewumi of a Federal High Court in Lagos for admitting laundering $15.5 million belonging to a former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

The firms; Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company, pleaded guilty through their representatives. They were represented by Friday Davies, Agbor Baro, Dioghowori Frederick and Taiwo Ebenezer respectively.

The four firms were later convicted on the alleged offence following the review of the facts of the case by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency had arraigned the firms alongside Waripamo Owei- Dudafa, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan; a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, on a 15-count amended charge of laundering the money. Upon their arraignment, the four firms owned up to the alleged offence while Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku denied it. Ozekhome later filed a motion to nullify the guilty plea of the firms on the ground that they were not given fair hearing. The silk and a lawyer, Luke Aghanenu, are currently locked in a legal battle over who should appear for the four firms.

Responding to an application by Aghanenu, seeking the court’s leave to represent the firms, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said he was not opposing the application because the identities of the firms’ directors were not hidden to the court. “The court had recognized the individuals who are directors of the firms through evidence and judgement of this court.

I had reasons to take the professional decisions that I took. I urged the court to look at its record”, Oyedepo said. Piqued by the development, Ozekhome accused the anti-graft agency of descending to the arena.

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