Corruption trial of 4 Edo PDP bigwigs postponed

Corruption trial of 4 Edo PDP bigwigs postponed

- The arraignment of four PDP bigwigs in Edo state on corruption charges has been postponed

- The quintet allegedly received N700 million prior to the 2015 general election, which the EFCC says was part of proceeds of an unlawful act

- Counsels to two of the accused said their clients could not be present as they were out of the country, attending to health issues

The arraignment of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former PDP governorship aspirant in Edo state; Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo state; Dan Orbih, PDP chairman in Edo state; Tony Azigbemi and Efe Erimuoghae Anthony, has been adjourned till June 11, by a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Premium Times reports.

The Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) is seeking to prosecute the four men for allegedly conspiring among themselves to commit an offence contrary to the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

According to the anti-graft agency, the quintet allegedly received N700 million prior to the 2015 general election; which they ought to have known, was part of proceeds of an unlawful act.

READ ALSO: Ogun Police arrests principal for tying students to crosses, flogging them gathers that the postponement of the arraignment was due to the absence of Ize-Iyamu and Dan Orbih in court on Wednesday, May 16.

Ferdinard O. Orbih (SAN), counsel to Orbih, informed the court that his client was attending to his health, outside the country. However, he gave the assurance that Orbih would be available at the next sitting of the court.

Counsel to Ize-Iyamu, Ikhide Ehighelua, also gave the same excuse on his behalf of his client.

One of the count reads: “That you Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Lucky Imasuen, Tony Azigbemi, Chief Dan Orbih, Efe Erimuoghae Anthony and Chief Anthony Anenih (now at large) sometime in March 2015 in Benin within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did directly take possession and control of the sum of 700,000,000.00 (seven hundred million naira) only without any contract award which sum you reasonably ought to have known form part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit; fraud and corruption; and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3)of the same Act.”

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In a related development, previously reported that a report by the EFCC detailed how the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, allegedly received N250 million from the office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

Secondus was said to have allegedly received the money during the build-up to the 2015 general elections, when served as the deputy chairman (south) of the PDP at the time.

The document further alleged that the funds were approved by Dasuki for unknown reasons but were merely referred to as special duties.

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