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Home News Alleged fraud: Judge warns EFCC on diligence in prosecuting Ali Bello, co-defendant

Alleged fraud: Judge warns EFCC on diligence in prosecuting Ali Bello, co-defendant

by Nike
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A Federal High Court judge, Justice James Omotosho on Friday, warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) to be diligent in its prosecution of the alleged money laundering charge filed against Ali Bello and Suleiman Daudu or its case would be closed.

Omotosho gave the warning while ruling on an objection filed by Daudu challenging the 17-count amended charge filed by the EFCC in the matter.

The judge while granting accelerated hearing of the trial, warned the EFCC to be diligent in the conduct of the trial or else the court would close the case.

He asked the anti-graft agency to get all its witnesses and exhibits ready on each adjourned date so as to avoid any delay.

He also directed the defendants to keep further objections against the charge and bring them up at the final address stage.

Daudu through his counsel, Mr Jimoh Nureni, SAN argued that since the alleged offence was committed in Lokoja, the proper and appropriate place for the trial should have been the Federal High Court in Lokoja.

He also argued that having earlier filed a 10-count criminal charge and called three witnesses, the anti-graft agency was abusing the court with the amended charge.

But Justice Omotosho, in his ruling, held that since the charges bordered on money laundering, the EFCC had powers to investigate and prosecute the matter.

The judge also said that the Federal High Court in Nigeria was one and that the trial of any criminal matter could be prosecuted in any of its divisions.

Justice Omotosho, who made the observation while ruling in a motion on notice filed by Suleiman Daudu challenging the amended charges, however, refused to quash the 17-count amended charge, involving alleged money laundering.

He also declined to transfer the trial of the two defendants to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, in line with the argument of the 2nd defendant

The judge noted that the Federal High Court in Nigeria was one and that trial of any matter could be prosecuted in any of its divisions.

He, however, fixed March 14, 15, 20 and 21 for the amended charge to be read to the defendants to take a fresh plea.

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