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Court further adjourns NBA president’s trial

N1.4BN ALLEGED FRAUD: NBA president Usoro, pleads not guilty, gets bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday further adjourned hearing on alleged N1.4billion fraud against the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Usoro before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on 10 counts bordering on fraud.

He was first arraigned before Justice Muslim Hassan in December 2018, but the case was re-assigned to Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges before Hassan, and also maintained stand before Aikawa, and was granted bail.

It was gathered that the much expected continuation of the trial that was scheduled for Thursday had now been adjourned, as Justice Aikawa did not sit.

A new date for the continuation of trial has not been fixed.

Also mentioned in the charge is the incumbent governor of Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom, who was described as being “currently constitutionally immune from prosecution”.

Others mentioned are: the Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Finance, Nsikan Nkan; Accountant-General, Mfon Udomah; the Attorney-General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, who the EFCC alleged are at large.

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In the charge marked FHC/418c/18, the anti graft agency alleged that the defendant committed the offence on May 14, 2016.

Usoro was alleged to have conspired with others to commit the offence within the jurisdiction of the court.

The commission said that the N1.4billion belonged to the Akwa Ibom State Government.

The defendant was alleged to have conspired to convert the said sum, which he reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity.

The prosecution said that the unlawful activity included criminal breach of trust which contravenes the provisions of section 15 (2), 15(3), and 18 (A) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011

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