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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Iwu’s rearraignment: Judge’s absence stalls trial

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The absence of the judge has stalled the trial of former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu.

On Monday at the resumed trial of lwu, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, could not sit at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting lwu on a three-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.
The ex- INEC boss was first arraigned on August 8 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, who granted him bail in the sum of N1 billion.
Following the transfer of the case to Justice Oweibo, Iwu was re-arraigned by the EFCC on October 24.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges while Justice Oweibo adjourned the case  until Nov. 25 for commencement of trial.

PerSecondnews reports that the judge’s absence has forced adjournement until Feb. 27, 2020.

The EFCC alleged that between December 2014 and March 27, 2015, Mr Iwu “aided the concealment of N1.23 billion in the account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited with number 1018603119, domiciled in the United Bank for Africa.”

According to the commission, Iwu ought to have reasonably known that the N1.23 billion formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
The EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the former INEC boss acted contrary to Sections 18(a) and 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and that the offence was liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
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