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EFCC loses $2m money laundering case against Atiku’s lawyer, brother 

 

Akeem Nafiu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has lost the $2 million money laundering case it filed against Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and his brother, Erhunse, at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
This was sequel to the dismissal of the charge against the duo by the trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke. The judge dismissed the charge yesterday after upholding the defendants’ no-case motion.
In his ruling on the no-case motion, Justice Aneke upheld the Giwa-Osagies’ submissions that the EFCC has not established any prima-facie case against them. He held, among others, that the anti-graft agency failed to establish that the money in question was illegal.
Uyiekpen and his brother were on March 6, 2020 re-arraigned by the EFCC before the judge on a three-count charge of laundering $2million in the build up to the last general election.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that sometime in February 2019, the defendants conspired and committed the offence by making a cash payment of the $2 million without going through a financial institution, which exceeded the amount authorised by law.
During trial, EFCC’s prosecution witnesses testified that sometime in 2019, the Commission received intelligence that some politicians were moving around with United States dollars to influence the result of the last general election. The two witnesses who testified in the matter maintained that the ‘laundered’ $2 million was evidence of such activity.
The EFCC closed its case after calling the two witnesses and prayed the court to order the defendants to open their defence.

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