The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed July 19 to either rule on a no-case submission filed by former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, his son and three others, or deliver judgment in the case.
The apex court presided by Justice Okon Abang fixed the date after counsels in the case concluded arguments on the no-case-submission filed by the defendants.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting the former governor and his son, Abdul-Aziz; two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd over money laundering offences.
Other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd. The EFCC had arraigned them on a 37-count of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.
The trial began in 2015 and the anti-graft agency called 21 witnesses to establish its case against the defendants.
Counsel for Nyako, Ibrahim Isiaku, (SAN), told the court that all the cases cited by the prosecution in support of its case were irrelevant at the court hearing today.
Isiaka said for a charge relating to money laundering to succeed, it must be proved that the money laundered is a subject of an illegal act, adding that there was no such evidence provided by the prosecution to support its claim in his client’s case. He prayed the court to uphold the no-case submission and dismiss the case.
In response, counsel for the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told the court that “In this case, the persons that committed the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are all before the court.”
Atolagbe, therefore, urged the court to discountenance the no-case submission and order the defendants to open their defense.
Justice Okon Abang directed counsel to submit copies of fresh authorities cited in support of their case. Abang adjourned the matter to July 19 for ruling on the no-case submission or for judgment in the substantive case.