Chimaroke Nnamani’s seven-year-old trial a ‘scandal’ – Prosecutor

Chimaroke Nnamani

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday asked for a separate trial of former Governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, in a N5 billion money laundering case.

Mr. Nnamani is facing trial alongside seven others accused on a 105-count charge before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The other accused are: Sunday Anyaogu, Rainbownet (Nig) Ltd, Hillgate (Nig) Ltd, Cosmos Fm, Capital City Automobile (Nig) Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Kevin Uzozie, argued that the matter had been stalled severally on account of Mr. Nnamani’s frequent applications to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Mr. Uzozie said that from the records of the court, it was clear that Mr. Nnamani had always applied to court for leave to travel out of the country on grounds of ill-health.

“It is a scandal that a criminal case which the law says must be speedily concluded has not even proceeded to trial seven years after it was filed,” he said.

In his application to separate the trial, Mr. Uzozie urged the court to accept his arguments so that Mr. Nnamani’s frequent medical trips abroad would no longer stall the trial of his co- accused.

In the application brought pursuant to Section 155 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 2004, the prosecutor urged the court to allow the trial of Mr. Nnamani and his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, to be conducted separately.

He argued that the application became necessary following the need for a speedy conclusion to be arrived at in respect of the assets and liabilities of the six companies, which were corporate entities.

Mr. Uzozie said that the assets might become obsolete and seriously eroded if the companies were not separately tried.
He, therefore, submitted that there was need for the court to decisively address the scandal which had stalled the case for about seven years.

Responding, defence counsel, Ricky Tarfa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, adopted his counter-affidavit to the application.
He argued that the application, if granted, would disrupt the fair trial for Mr. Nnamani.

Mr. Tarfa argued that contrary to EFCC’s allegations, Mr. Nnamani had always made himself available for trial after the completion of each phase of medical treatment abroad.

According to him, the trips were aimed at facilitating his recovery process.

He also noted that on many occasions, the matter had been adjourned at the instance of the EFCC, and so it was wrong to allege that his client had been using the medical trips to delay the matter.

Mr. Tarfa further argued that the accused would be severely prejudiced if the application is granted, and that no assets would be eroded as canvassed by the EFCC.

After listening to the arguments from both counsel, Justice Mohammed Yunusa fixed December 16 for ruling.

The accused were re-arraigned before Yunusa on March 7, 2013, following the transfer of the previous judge, Justice Charles Archibong.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charge, while Mr. Yunusa had allowed them to continue with the earlier bail terms granted by Archibong.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have laundered various sums of money to the tune of N5 billion and had lodged same in a secret account.

It was also alleged that Mr. Nnamani conspired with other accused persons to launder various statutory allocations of some local government areas of Enugu State.

The local governments are: Aninri, Enugu South, Agwu, Igbo Etiti and Isi Uzor He was alleged to have stolen N1.4 billion from the Excess Crude Oil Funds allocated to local governments in the state.

Besides, it was alleged that the accused, through the help of one Chinero Nwigwe, who is now at large, fraudulently transferred millions of dollars of Enugu State’s funds, to his personal accounts in the United States.

These offences were allegedly committed while Nnamani held sway as Governor of Enugu State between 1999 and 2007.

The alleged offence is said to contravene the provisions of the Money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2004.

(NAN)


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  • Damian Worrey

    There is no law in Nigeria. A good few of Nigerian court Judges need sacking.
    Nigeria can never know peace, order or justice with the Judges of Nigerian courts.

  • Reporteruncensored

    No proper medical facilities in Enugu to take care of Nnamani’s health needs?Despite his eight years of ‘Ebe Ano’ leadership?

  • Moses Musa

    This is one reason we cannot take GEJ serious to put this country on the path of sustainable development on account of corruption and his inability to being his party men to justice.

    • UOU

      What has Jonathan got to do with this now or your obsessions for, hatred, anarchy, viciousness, blackmail and born to rule mentality will not allow you think something reasonable, maybe if you don’t get your wife pregnant you will accuse Jonathan, please get a life, this is a matter for the Judiciary, not Jonathan more so, Chimaroke does not have relationship with Mr Jonathan, he is even no more in the PDP. Let the prosecutors bring enough evidence before the court to nail him, it is not enough to grandstand like Ribadu did all awhile, criminal matters is not won in the pages of newspapers or online. EFCC must do thorough investigations, gather overwhelming evidences and put them before the court because for you to get judgement in criminal matters, it must be proved beyond all reasonable doubts. STOP CALLING MR JONATHAN IN EVERYTHING

      • Moses Musa

        The EFCC is under the Executive arm and they are appointees of GEJ so if they are not performing and he cannot bring them to perform whom do we hold liable? He is a confirmed failure in the fight against corruption, it is starring all of us on the face. No transformation will make any meaningful impact as long as the war on corruption is lost by the executive of which he GEJ is superitending over today.

        • Ifeanyi

          Sir, EFCC is not the court. EFCC only takes corruption cases to the court of law. It is now left for the court (judiciary) to speed up the process of handing out judgment.

      • Okemute1

        Please tell us what exactly GEJ is responsible for! It seems in your eye, he is not responsible for anything.

        • UOU

          I will not indulge you with an answer except to direct you to the screening of the new CJ by the senate, the points I would make is there for you to read and learn from, Jonathan’s responsibilities regarding Chimaroke’s case is to prosecute using EFCC or Police, it the Judiciary that will adjudicate. One day if you go to toilet and cannot pooh, you will accuse Jonathan, because it is Jonathan

  • sunshine

    Why nnamani all the time?how about his colleagues that were arraigned the same time with him?are their cases still in court?please,leave this young man alone……

  • Gunnermachine

    Well written.I totally agree with your viewpoint Jafar.

  • 9ja deserves better dan Buhari

    Here are the countries you had visited since May 2015 1) Alhaji Bugari Niger Republic (May 2015). 2) CHAD (June 2015). 3) Germany (June 2015). 4) South Africa (June 2015). 5) United Kingdom (May 2015). 6) USA (July 2015). 7) Benin Republic (August 2015). 8) France (September 2015). 9) Ghana (September 2015). 10) India (October 2015). 11) Sudan (October 2015). 12) Iran (November 2015). 13) France (November 2015). 14) USA (November 2015). 15) South Africa (December 2015). 16) Benin Rep. (December 2015). 17) UAE (January 2016). 18) Kenya (January 2016). 19) Ethiopia (January 2016). 20) France (February 2016). 21) Utd. Kingdom (February 2016). 22) Egypt (February 2016). 23) Saudi Arabia (Februay 2016). 24) Qatar (February 2016). This is 2015 to 2019 STAR TREK. keep it on JOURNEY MAN #IssuesProfundusTimeBrevis Any day I review Buhari’s president media chat, I just see a tyrant who hates and have no remorse to his sins or forgiven spiri

  • AFRICANER

    What about spending a fraction of that time looking for the Chibok girls?

  • jibrin Yusuf

    JAFAR JAFAR IS ENTITLED TO HIS OWN OPINION; BUT TO PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF, NIGERIA’S PROBLEMS ARE NOT HOME GROWN. DO YOU MEAN THAT THE PRESENT AND PAST LOOTERS STASHED THEIR LOOTS IN OUR LOCAL BANKS??????? DO THEY BUY ASSETS IN NIGERIA??????????????? YOU MUST BE SHALLOW-MINDED, AND BETTER STILL AN ATTENTION SEEKER, IF YOU ASSUME THAT NIGERIA CAN SOLVE HER PROBLEMS IF PRESIDENT BUHARI SITS AT HOME AND EXPECTS MIRACLE TO HAPPEN. NEVER, IN THE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE WORLD, IS BEING REPORTED THAT A NATION, NO MATTER HOW TECHNOLOGICALLY DRIVEN IT IS, PROGRESSED AND MEANINGFULLY DEVELOPED WITHOUT PARTNERING WITH OTHER NATIONS.

    LASTLY, IF JAFAR JAFAR HAD ISSUES WITH PMB, HE’S FREE TO VOICE THEM OUT; BUT DISGUISING AND HIDING UNDER THE PRETEXT OF INCESSANT FOREIGN TRIPS WILL NOT, AND CAN NEVER JUSTIFY YOUR UTTERANCES WITH REGARDS TO OUR PRESIDENT.

    • Mark Amaza

      Such a pity, man. Jaafar Jaafar has been consistent in criticizing three past presidents on their junketing, but all you can see is that he has problems with Buhari. Did he have personal problems with Jonathan and Obasanjo too?

    • Lawrence Efana

      Disqus culture is played with by Jaafar Jaafar! That is not the way to make sense of the modern media and its challenges. Jibrin Yusuf, indeed you make sense with the question. It was a part of the reason for appointing the Special Assistant also charged with “diaspora” duties. If things are seen and driven the Jaafar Jaafar-way, Nigeria will not understand and grapple well with internal and external problems curiously of strategic importance. “Connecting peoples and the people” for the sake of political, social and economic healing in ways the nation can benefit can turn a hard knot to open if the Jaafars think the way they do and act to frustrate chances for understanding, reason and sustainable progress…..!