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N1.4b fraud: Court discharges, acquits ex-NBA President Usoro

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has discharged and acquitted the immediate past President of the Nigerian Barr Association (NBA) Paul Usoro, SAN, of the N1.4 billion money laundering charge.

Justice Aikawa absolved Usoro of the charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday.

The judge held the anti-graft agency failed to establish any prima facie case against Usoro that could warrant him to enter a defence.

Ruling on Usoro’s “no case” submission, he noted that the penal code, under which Usoro was charged is not applicable to southern states, namely, Lagos and Akwa-Ibom, the supposed jurisdictions of the alleged offences.

Justice Aikawa said: “On the whole, I hold that the prosecution has failed to establish any prima facie case.

“Accordingly, the defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

The defendant had on February 25, filed a no case submission where his counsel Effiong O. Effiong SAN contended that the EFCC called only two witnesses and closed its case because, according to him, it knew it didn’t have any case against the defendants.

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