The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on Friday, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remove the name of the Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, from the alleged money laundering trial involving the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN).
A panel of the appellate court led Justice Bello Aliyu upheld Governor Emmanuel’s appeal and quashed the four counts in which his name appeared in the case.
The commission had accused the NBA chief of laundering N1.4billion belonging to the Akwa Ibom State government.
In the four out of the 10-count charge filed against Usoro, the EFCC alleged that the NBA chief converted and laundered the funds in connivance with the governor.
The commission, however, did not list Emmanuel as a defendant in the case, indicating that the governor is “constitutionally protected from criminal prosecution.”
In an application filed through his lawyer, Dr Charles Mekwunye, Emmanuel argued that the charges were defective because his name was mentioned in despite the fact that he enjoyed immunity from prosecution as a sitting governor.
He urged the court to quash the entire charges.
But the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that Emmanuel’s name was only mentioned in the charges, he was not listed as a defendant.