- A N254 million bribery suit filed by the EFCC against Senator Albert Bassey has been dismissed
- A Special Offences Court in Lagos on Wednesday, April 10, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction
- Bassey, a former finance commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, currently represents Akwa-Ibom North-East senatorial district
A Special Offences Court in Lagos on Wednesday, April 10, dismissed a N254 million bribery suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Senator Albert Bassey.
Bassey, a former finance commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, currently represents Akwa-Ibom North-East senatorial district.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a ruling, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction and advised the anti-graft commission to file the suit in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged bribe took place.
Justice Taiwo said: “The issue of jurisdiction is a fundamental one. In the instant case, the prosecution had failed to give reasons why the suit should be heard within this jurisdiction.
“This court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate on this matter. I hereby strike out this suit for lack of jurisdiction.
“The prosecution should file the charges in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged fraud took place.”
Bassey, 46, is faced with corruption charges proffered against him by the EFCC for receiving alleged bribes of 12 cars worth N254m from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his tenure as commissioner
The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Bassey by Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa-Ibom government.
The Akwa-Ibom senator was to face a 14-count corruption charge alongside Omokore at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
Bassey was to specifically face seven-counts of corruption by a public officer and a public officer inviting bribes as a result of his own action.
Omokore, was to face a seven-count charge of offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.
The defendants counsels, Solomon Umoh (SAN) and Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), had respectively filed applications contending that the court had no power to hear the substantive case.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene sections 63 (1)(a), 64 (1)(a) and 98(1), (a), (i) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011.
Meanwhile, an FCT High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, April 9 granted leave for substituted service on the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
Justice Silvanus Oriji gave the order substituted service, after listening to the submissions of Chief Mike Ozekhome ,SAN, counsel to an Abuja-based lawyer, Monday Ubani and a former senator, Christopher Enai.
Oriji had on Tuesday, March 26, granted leave to an exparte motion filed by Ozekhome to charge Ubani and Enai to court or release them on bail on or before March, 28.
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