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Naira abuse: Cubana Chief Priest’s lawyer’s absence stalls trial

Persecondnews reported that on April 17, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Okechukwu on a three-count charge of spraying and tampering with Naira notes during a social event at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.

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The trial of Okechukwu Pascal, a.k.a. Cubana Chief Priest, a prominent socialite and celebrity barman, was stalled on Wednesday due to the absence of his lawyer.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has, therefore, the trial until June 25.

Persecondnews reported that on April 17, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Okechukwu on a three-count charge of spraying and tampering with Naira notes during a social event at the Eko Hotel in Lagos.

After entering a not guilty plea, the court released him on N10 million bail.

At the last adjourned date of May 2, the defence counsel, Mr. Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), informed the court that the parties were exploring settlement and had applied for the matter to be settled pursuant to Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

Following that, the defence counsel requested to withdraw their preliminary objection, which the court granted due to the absence of any objections from the prosecution.

As a result, the court adjourned the case until today, June 5, for a settlement report.

However, on Wednesday, it emerged that the defence team had submitted a letter requesting a postponement of the case.

The case has now been rescheduled for mention on June 25.

According to the charges, the defendant allegedly tampered with funds in N500 denominations while dancing at a social event held at the Eko Hotel.

The EFCC, in count one, alleged that Okechukwu Pascal, on February 13, 2024, at the Eko Hotel, within the jurisdiction of the court, while dancing during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (five hundred naira) notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying the same for two hours, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

In count 2, it was alleged “that you, Okechukwu Pascal, sometime in 2020, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (five hundred naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying the same for two hours, and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.”

In Count 3, it was alleged: “That you, Okechukwu Pasca, sometime in January 2024, in Lagos during a social event, tampered with funds in the denomination of N500 (five hundred naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act 2007.

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