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Money Laundering Charge: Court Adjourns Oyo-Ita’s Trial To July 8



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The Federal High Court in Abuja has readjourned the 18-count corruption charges suit filed against the former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita to July 8, 2020.

The hearing date was adjourned by Justice Taiwo Taiwo following the absence of a prosecuting counsel from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC).

Recall that the anti-graft agency had arraigned the immediate HoS and eight other over their alleged involvement in money laundering, Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) fraud.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/60/2020, EFCC, also Oyo-Ita of collecting kickbacks on contracts, while she was in service.

The commission further stated that Oyo-Ita apart from collecting ticket fees for journeys not embarked on, she collaborated with her co-defendants to disguise the genuine ownership of funds they diverted into accounts of various private companies.

EFCC also accused a civil servant identified Garba Umar, and the personal assistant of the former HoS, Ubong Okon Effiok of been involved in the #500m fraud.

Others arriagned in the case are the six indicted companies; Frontline Ace Global Services Ltd, Asanaya Projects Limited, Slopes International Limited, Good deal International Limited, U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as the court granted them bail pending the determination of the charge against them.

The EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, at the resumed proceeding on Wednesday failed to appear in court.

Counsel to Oyo-Ita, Mr. Paul Erokoro, SAN, told the court that he was not aware of any reason for the absence of the prosecution counsel.

He, therefore, requested for the matter to be adjourned to a later date, an application that was supported by counsel to all the other defendants.

“My lord since we do not know why they are not here, we ask for a fairly long adjournment to give the prosecution time subject to the court’s convenience. We also ask that they be issued hearing notices.”

Justice Taiwo in his ruling stressed that the case was not classified as urgent and not also time-bound. He adjourned the case till July 8.