Alleged N1.4bn fraud: Again Usoro’s trial suffers set back

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

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charged Usoro before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on 10 counts bordering fraud.

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

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

The continuation of trial which was earlier fixed for Thursday, has now been further adjourned, as Justice Aikawa did not sit.

A new date however, is yet to be fixed for continuation of trial.

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

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

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 N1.4 billion 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 an unlawful activity.

The prosecution said that the unlawful activity include 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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