Court orders ICPC to arraign Ehindero, Obaniyi for money laundering

An Abuja High Court has ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to unfailingly arraign former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, on June 28 for money laundering to the tune of N557 million.

Also to be arraigned is the suspended Commissioner of Police in-charge of Budgets at the Force Headquarters, John Obaniyi.

They are to be arraigned on a six-count charge of money laundering. 

The suit, with file number FCT/HC/CR/92/2012, was filed on behalf of the ICPC by prosecution counsel, Paul Bassi.

It would be recalled that the ICPC on April 2, quizzed the former police boss on alleged misappropriation of the sum during his tenure.

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi gave the order on Wednesday due to failure of the ICPC to produce the two suspects, after the court granted the commission leave to arraign the duo.

Counsel to the ICPC, Elijah Akaakohol, had in a motion applied for a short adjournment to enable the anti-graft agency to personally serve the two suspects with the court processes.

Mr. Akaakohol told the court that the commission was not able to serve Mr. Ehindero with copies of the charge and other court processes.

He explained that the former police chief was said to be in Asaba, Delta, attending the on-going NBA Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms.

Mr. Akaakohol said that when the officers of the ICPC went to serve him (Ehindero) with the papers at his law chambers, located at NICON Plaza, Central Area, Abuja, a lawyer, Olufemi Ogunleye, offered to receive the court processes.

“My Lord, since under the law, service of court papers, especially in such a serious matter should be effected on the suspect personally, we could not leave the papers with the lawyer since we were told that the suspect had travelled.” 

He also said that the commission had not also been able to locate the second suspect because the address given by him as Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja, was wrong.

“When our operatives went to serve the charges and other court process, we were told by the police that he has been suspended and was now living in Akure, Ondo.

“My Lord, we have made several attempts to serve the suspects with the court process so that they can be arraigned today as ordered by the court.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate the two suspects. We promise that by the next adjourned date, we will produce them.” 

Counsel to Mr. Ehindero, Emmanuel Tela, holding the brief of Mike Ozekhome (SAN), did not object to the prosecution counsel’s application for adjournment.

Justice Oniyangi in his ruling adjourned the case till June 28 for arraignment of Mssrs Ehindero and Obaniyi, and for the ICPC to ensure that the suspects were duly served with all the court process.


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