The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reacted to the acquittal of former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki, of money laundering charges involving N715 million.
According to a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the commission said it resolved to have the verdict overturned by pursuing lodging an appeal against it at the Court of Appeal.
The commission said the trial judge erred in dismissing the testimonies of all 13 prosecution witnesses.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, discharged and acquitted Mr Turaki.
The judge, Inyang Ekwo, acquitted the former minister, in a ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defence.
He held that the EFCC failed to link Mr Turaki and his co-defendants with the offences contained in the 16-count charge.
The judge added that the prosecution could not establish a prima facie case against them.
The EFCC had in May 2020, arraigned the former minister alongside his special assistant, Sampson Okpetu, and two companies: Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited. They are standing trial on a 16-count charge of fraud amounting to N714 million.
Read EFCC’s full statement below.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is to approach the Court of Appeal to challenge the Federal High Court’s decision to quash the 16 count criminal charge of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N715million brought against a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Kabiru Taminu Turaki, SAN, and three Others.
In a ruling delivered today Justice Inynag Ekwo upheld the no-case submission by the defendants. He held that it was unnecessary to ask the defendants to enter their defence, describing the evidence presented by the prosecution witnesses as tainted. He also stated that the fact that the prosecution did not honour the Attorney General’s request for information regarding the case file vitiated the charge.
However, the Commission says the trial judge erred in dismissing the testimonies of all twelve prosecution witnesses and has resolved to file a notice of appeal at the appellate court, to set aside the ruling by Justice Ekwo.
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