The Chairman, Goodluck Support Group, Aminu Abubakar, on Tuesday was remanded in prison custody by a high court in the Abuja over allegations of blackmail.
Mr. Abubakar was arraigned alongside Okechukwu Geoffrey by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on a three-count charge under the penal code for extortion and conspiracy to extort.
Messrs. Abubakar and Geoffrey were said to have been in possession of some documents relating to some officials of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, with the intent to implicate them by publishing and threatening them if they do not part with N25million.
Counsel to the accused persons, E. A. Egbedu, challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, and called for the charges to be quashed.
However, the prosecuting counsel, George Lawal, objected the application on the grounds that it was premature.
Mr. Egbedu, in his reply on points of law cited Edet and State, 2008, Part 1106, page 52 at page 60, and argued that since they were challenging the jurisdiction, the court was expected to entertain the
interlocutory application before proceeding into arraigning the accused.
The court in response, examining the possibility of quashing the charge with its jurisdiction under challenge, without prejudice to the right of the defence to raise issue of jurisdiction and to quash the
charge, ordered the accused’ plea to be taken.
While the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges read to him, the presiding judge, Ishaq Bello, adjourned the case to July 9 for the motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction as well as trial
of the accused. He also said the accused bail application will be taken on June 11.
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