A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday dismissed the no case submission filed by Ikedi Ohakim, former governor of Imo State and asked him to open his defence to debunk the charges of money laundering instituted against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on July 8, 2015, arraigned Ohakim, who was Imo State governor between 2007 and 2011, on a three-count charge of money laundering.
He was accused of purchasing a property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral ZoneA04, Asokoro District, Abuja with cash payment of $2.29m which was said to be dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008, an offence said to be contrary to section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 15(1)(d) of the same law.
EFCC also accused Ohakim of attempting to conceal the ownership of the property by entering into an agreement as a tenant in the property, an offence also said to be contrary to and punishable under section 14(1b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
He was also alleged to have failed to declare the property as part of his assets when asked by the EFCC to do so in January 2014, thereby allegedly committing an offence under section 27(b) and (c) of the EFCC Act and punishable under the same section.
But Ohakim filed a ‘no-case submission,’ claiming that the evidence led by the prosecution to prove its case had disclosed no prima facie case against him.
And Justice Adeniyi Ademola, on Thursday, dismissed Ohakim’s prayer and ordered him to open his defence to debunk the case against him by the prosecutor, adding that contrary to Ohakim’s claim, the evidence led by the prosecution had disclosed prima facie case warranting the former governor to open his defence.
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