Court discharges Atiku’s lawyer, brother over alleged $2m fraud

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A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday dismissed a $2million money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

The court also discharged his brother Erhunse Giwa-Osagie of the same charge.

The siblings were re-arraigned last February 23, on a three-count charge of laundering $2million in the build up to the last general elections.

The EFCC had alleged that sometime in February, 2019, the duo conspired and committed the offence by making cash payment of the $2m without going through a financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law.

During trial, the EFCC testified that sometime in 2019, it received intelligence that some politicians were moving around with United States dollars to influence the result of the last general elections.

It called two witnesses who testified in favour of its allegation that the $2m was evidence of such activity.

The commission closed its case after calling two witnesses and prayed the court to order the duo to open its defence.

But the defendants opposed the anti-graft agency, arguing among others that they never acted illegally. They filed a no-case submission praying the judge to dismiss the charge.

Ruling on the applications, Justice Aneke upheld the Giwa-Osagies’ submissions. He held, among others, that the EFCC failed to establish that the money was illegal.

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