A photograph mixture of Professor Maurice Iwu and a brand of the EFCC.
A former Chairman of the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu, has made an software for the switch of his trial on allegations of fraud.
Iwu, who was arraigned earlier than Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal Excessive Court docket in Lagos on 4 counts of concealment, fraud and cash laundering to the tune of N1.2 billion, is in search of the switch of the case to the Abuja division of the court docket.
The cash is alleged to be a part of the N23.29 billion slush fund allegedly shared by former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to affect the result of the 2015 presidential elections.
At Thursday’s proceedings, counsel to the previous INEC boss, Ahmed Raji, advised Justice Oweibo that the switch was obligatory in order to not topic the defendant to nice hardship.
He defined that Professor Iwu resides in Abuja however at all times travels to Lagos every time the case was arising.
“My Lord, this defendant is over 70 years of age and he always travels down to Lagos whenever the case is coming up; then he books a hotel. It will amount to great agony for him to continue with this trial in Lagos,” mentioned Raji who’s a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
He additionally submitted that for the reason that transaction which led to the cost was executed in Abuja, the case ought to be heard within the nation’s capital.
However counsel to the Financial and Monetary Crimes fee (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, requested the court docket to refuse the appliance.
Oyedepo based mostly his argument on the truth that all of the witnesses listed within the proof of proof, together with the financial institution officers reside in Lagos and Ibadan.
He additionally argued that it was the Lagos Zonal workplace of the EFCC that investigated the case.
The EFCC counsel submitted that the offence for which the defendant was charged touched on the financial well-being of Nigeria, and such offences will be tried anyplace within the nation.
He cited the availability of Part 98 of the Administration of Legal Justice Act, which states that solely the Chief Choose of the Court docket has the ability to switch any matter.
After listening to each events, Justice Nicholas Oweibo adjourned the case till March 6 for ruling.
Professor Iwu is going through three counts of fraud and cash laundering introduced towards him by the anti-graft company.
The EFCC accused him of committing the offences from December 2014 to March 27, 2015.
Following his arraignment, the previous INEC boss pleaded not responsible to the fees and was granted bail within the sum of N1 billion.