…As Court adjourns Naira Marley’s trial until Dec. 11, over Alleged Credit Card Fraud***
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Maurice Iwu on Thursday, re-appeared before a Federal High Court in Lagos, in answer to a N1.2 billion fraud allegations.
Iwu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on four counts bordering on the offence.
He appeared before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant had earlier been arraigned during the court’s vacation before Justice Chuka Obiozor.
He was re-arraigned on Thursday, following a re-assignment of the case from Justice Oweibo.
In the charges, the EFCC alleged that Iwu committed the offence in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
According to the commission , he committed the offences between December 2014 and March 27, 2015.
It said the defendant aided the concealment of N1.2 billion in the account of one Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Ltd.
The EFCC said that Iwu ought to have reasonably known that the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of fraud.
EFCC prosecutor Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 15 (2) (a) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering ((Prohibition) Act 2011
Justice Oweibo allowed the defendant to continue on the N1billion bail earlier granted him by Justice Obiozor.
He adjourned the case until Nov. 25 for trial to start.
In the meantime, a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, adjourned until Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, continuation of trial of Nigerian Musician, Azeez Fashola, a. k. a Naira Marley facing fraud charges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Marley with 11 counts bordering on conspiracy, possession of counterfeit Credit Cards, and Fraud.
Also mentioned in the charge is one Yad Isril, who is said to still be at large.
The Popular “Issa goal” singer was arraigned on May 20 before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, but he denied the charges.
Following a bail application by defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, (SAN), the court had granted Fashola bail in the sum of N2 million with sureties in like sum.
On Thursday, Justice Nicholas Oweibo adjourned the case shortly after defence counsel Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN) had began cross examination of the first prosecution’s witness who began his evidence yesterday.
The court was however, constrained to move trial to a further date, after some arguments erupted in court, between counsel in suit following insufficient seating arrangement.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the courtroom has few available seats which are always insufficient to accommodate both lawyers and litigants.
A good number lawyers, litigants and even journalists are often forced to stand up in the courtroom throughout proceedings, due to unavailability of seats.
Trial will now continue on the next date.
NAN reports that at the last adjourned date on Oct. 23 (yesterday) first prosecution witness. Mr Nuru Buhari, had given evidence as to the manner of information extracted from the IPhone and Laptop of the defendant.
Led by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness had chronicled the various sites visited with the defendant’s electronic gadgets, as well as the various credit card operations conducted.
Trial will now continue on the next adjourned date.
According to the charge, the defendant allegedly committed the offences on different dates between Nov. 26, 2018, Dec.11, 2018, and May 10,
The charge alleges that Fashola and his accomplices conspired to use different Access Bank ATM Cards to defraud their victims.
It said that the defendant allegedly used Access Card number 5264711020433662 issued to another persons, in a bid to obtain fraudulent financial gains.
He was said to have possessed these counterfeit credit cards, belonging to different cardholders, with intent to defraud, which also amounted to theft.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 1 23 (1) (b), 27 (1}, 33, 33(9) Cyber Crime (Prohibition) Prevention Act, 2015.