The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is to file a fresh charge against a former governor of Enugu State, Chimaronke Nnamani, who is facing trial over an alleged N5.3bn fraud.
Nnamani, his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, and six companies were first arraigned in 2007 for allegedly conspiring to divert about N5.3billion from the coffers of Enugu State.
No fewer than three judges had handled the case, which in December 2017 was transferred to Justice Obiozor, who fixed December 4, 2017 for the re-arraignment of the defendants.
Following the failure of Nnamani and Anyaogu to appear in court for arraignment on the said date, Justice Obiozor issued a bench warrant of arrest against them.
Consequently, counsel to Nnamani, Rickey Tarfa, SAN, prayed the court to vacate an order discharging the bench warrant issued against his client.
In his ruling on February 19, 2018, the court held that “the request for an order to discharge the bench warrant against the first defendant before me, for now, is hereby refused. This is without prejudice to the renewal of the application at the next adjourned date.”
The court also struck out an application filed by Tarfa, challenging the court's jurisdiction and seeking a perpetual injunction to restrain the EFCC from arresting his client, after he (Tarfa) had asked to withdraw same.
However, at the proceedings on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Tarfa informed the court that he had filed a motion disclosing the facts that the case had been put to rest by Justice Yunusa in his judgment in suit no FHC/L/09C/07 delivered on July 7, 2015.
Tarfa further said there was no valid pending charge before the court in view of the plea bargain entered into by parties before Justice Yunusa, adding that “the court cannot sit on an appeal of his learned brother, Yunusa”.
However, in his response, the prosecution counsel, Kelvin Uzozie, said that he had looked at the affidavits filed by the defendant in the case, adding that “in view of all the averment therein, I am applying that the entire proceedings in this court be expunged to enable us file a fresh charge with a different suit number”.
Consequently, in his short ruling, Justice Obiozor held that “I agree that in view of the plea bargain judgment of this court delivered on July 7, 2015, that there is no valid charge before me. I hereby expunge the entire proceedings before me”.
Media & Publicity
February 21, 2018