‘Naira abuse’: EFCC, Cubana Chief Priest to settle out of court

Adebisi Aikulola
Adebisi Aikulola
Cubana in court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Cubana Chief Priest are exploring an out-of-court settlement for the naira abuse case against the nightlife promoter.

Cubana arrived at the federal high court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday for the continuation of his trial.

On April 16, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a three-count charge against him over alleged naira abuse.

He was arraigned the following day. When the charges were read, the social media celebrity pleaded not guilty.

Kehinde Ogundare, the judge, thereafter granted him bail in the sum of N10 million with two responsible sureties in like sum.

The judge ruled that the bail conditions must be perfected within seven days.

Cubana was released to his lawyer, who must give an undertaking to produce him later. The trial was adjourned to May 2 for continuation.

During the sitting, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, the defendant’s lawyer, told Ogundare that they are applying that the matter be settled according to the provisions of Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act.

“The status today is that we are settling. We have applied to the prosecution, the EFCC, that the matter be settled according to Section 14 (2) of the EFCC Establishment Act. Which enables them to compound offences in the interest of justice,” Ojukwu said.

“And if the prosecution confirms that that is the position, we will now, in light of that reconciliatory spirit, try to withdraw our preliminary objection. Or allow them to consider our application for compounding of offence.”

On her part, Bilikisu Buhari, the EFCC prosecutor, confirmed Ojukwu’s position and told the court that the anti-graft agency was still considering the application. “The prosecution confirms the application of the settlement. The application is still being considered,” she said.

Ojukwu thereafter applied for a withdrawal of the preliminary objection with no objections from the prosecution. The court subsequently granted the request, and the case was adjourned to June 5 for the hearing of the settlement report.

The social media celebrity is well known for his luxurious lifestyle.

Cubana is also known for his affiliation with Davido, the Afrobeats singer.

He served as the general manager of Cubana Groups but left the brand in September 2020 and established Club Xhrine in Owerri, Imo.

The nightlife promoter was honoured with a doctor of science in event and luxury hospitality management degree from the European American University in 2021.

In January 2022, Cubana was appointed as a social media aide to Hope Uzodinma, the governor of Imo state.

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