The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday dismissed the N763million money laundering charges filed against Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, who is a lawyer to a former Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Mr Abubakar was the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections.
Mr Giwa-Osagie was arrested along with his brother Erhunse Giwa-Osagie in the run-up to the election in 2019.
The Nation reports that the judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, similarly dismissed the charge against both Mr Giwa-Osagie and his brother, Erhunse, on Monday.
Mr Aneke made the order dismissing the charges in a ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defendants after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) closed its case.
The EFCC had on February 23, 2020 re-arraigned the defendants on three counts of money laundering.
The prosecution specifically alleged that the defendants sometime in February 2019 in the build-up to the general elections that year, conspired and made cash payment of N763million without going through a financial institution.
It alleged that the payment was in breach of the threshold of cash transactions outside a financial institution as provided in the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The EFCC two witnesses testified that the N763million was part of funds earmarked by politicians to influence the outcome of the 2019 general elections.
But instead of opening their defence, the defendants opted to file a no-case submission insisting that the prosecution failed to make a prima-facie case linking them to the alleged offences.
They added that their action was in line with the law.
The judge upheld their no-case submission on Monday and dismissed the charges, ruling that the prosecution failed to establish that the N763million was part of proceeds of illegal act.
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